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NAVAL WAR COLLEGE 
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International Litw 



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ltuatioq^ J* 

WITH SOLUTIONS A£$&Nmfes 




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WASHINGTON 
1911 



PREFACE. 



Some of the international law situations discussed at the 
Naval War College during the summer conference of 1911 
are such as have arisen in connection with the work of the 
War College ; some were proposed by officers in communi- 
cations to the War College, and others have been sug- 
gested by provisions of the Declaration of London of 1909, 
(printed in Naval War College, International Law 
Topics, 1909) or by treaties to which the United States 
is a party. As there are many such treaties, containing 
provisions sometimes conflicting, with which the naval 
officer should be familiar, it is hoped that the treaties 
particularly relating to the conduct of naval warfare 
may soon be placed in the hands of officers in a convenient 
form for reference. 

The discussions of the international-law situations were 
again conducted by Prof. George Grafton Wilson, LL. D., 
professor of international law at Harvard University, 
associe de l'Institut de Droit International, and lecturer 
on international law at the Naval "War College for the 
past ten years. As a result of investigation and discussion 
at the Naval War College, the solutions of the situations 
with notes have been arranged by Dr. Wilson for record 
and for the information of the naval service. 

Officers are invited and requested to send to the Naval 
War College statements of perplexing situations which 
may have actually confronted them or which they think 
are likely to arise. 

R. P. Rodgers, 
Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy, President. 

United States Naval War College, 

Neivport, R. /., September 1, 191] . 

3 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



Page. 

Situation I. — Asylum in neutral port 9 

Solution 9 

Notes 9 

Regulations of Institute of International Law 9 

Questions before Institute, 1910 12 

Opinions of publicists 15 

Sojourn in neutral ports. . 16 

The Hague rule on passage through neutral waters. ... 18 

Refuge in neutral port 20 

Brazilian treaty, 1828 21 

Brazilian neutrality proclamation, 1898 22 

Questionnaire before the Hague Conference, 1907 24 

Discussion of passage through neutral waters 26 

Military forces and foreign jurisdiction. 27 

The Hague rule on internment 29 

United States adherence to Convention XIII 29 

Prof. Westlake on sojourn 29 

Departure of belligerent vessels simultaneously in neu- 
tral port 30 

Two views 33 

Resume « 34 

Application to Situation I 35 

Solution ( . 36 

Situation II. — Protection to neutral vessels 37 

Solution 37 

Notes 37 

Historical 37 

Spanish-American War, 1898 38 

Japanese Regulations, 1904 39 

Russian Regulations, 1904 39 

Treaty provisions as to visit 39 

Treaty provisions as to convoy 40 

Franco-British treaty, 1655 41 

Obsolete clause of Swedish treaty, 1783 41 

Treaty with Prussia, 1785 42 

Treaties in time of war 42 

Renunciation of treaty rights with Tunis 43 

Court decisions on treaties 44 

5 



6 TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Page. 
Situation II. — Protection to neutral vessels — Continued. 

Notes — Continued . 

Opinion of Attorney General 46 

Opinion of J. C. B. Davis 46 

Rule of Declaration of London, 1909 46 

Treaty provision and naval officer , . 47 

Discussion of treaty provision with Prussia 47 

United States Navy Regulations 48 

Protection by one neutral of vessels of another 49 

Solution. . . . 50 

Situation III. — Destruction of neutral vessel 51 

Solution 51 

Notes 51 

Introduction. 51 

Naval War College discussions, 1905 52 

Naval War College discussions, 1907 53 

The case of the Knight Commander. 54 

Opinion of Prof. Holland 57 

English court decision. 58 

British opinion 60 

Question at the Hague Conference, 1907 60 

Question at International Naval Conference, 1908-9. . . . 69 

Propositions before Naval Conference 73 

Basis of discussion at Naval Conference. 76 

Discussion at Naval Conference 77 

Provisions of Declaration of London 81 

Attitude of some commercial bodies 85 

Reply of British foreign office 87 

Discussion in Parliament .... 90 

Letters to London Times P 91 

Naval opinion in Great Britain 94 

Mr. Bentwich's review of opinions 95 

Application of Declaration of London to Situation III .. 96 

Solution 98 

Situation IV. — Delivery of contraband at sea 99 

Solution 99 

Notes T .. 99 

Treaty provisions on delivery of contraband 99 

Treaties of the United States 101 

British rule 104 

American Navy Department order, 1898 105 

Opinions of text writers 105 

Naval Conference, 1908-9 107 

Report of British delegation 107 

Application of Declaration of London 108 

Resume" 109 

Solution 110 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 7 

Page. 

Situation V . — Proportion of contraband Ill 

Solution ... ' Ill 

Notes Ill 

Review of attitude to, 1908 Ill 

Early ideas as to penalty 112 

French instructions, 1870 115 

English prize cases. . . 116 

American decisions 118 

Treaty provisions 118 

Special regulations 119 

Propositions before Naval Conference, 1908-9 120 

Discussions at Naval Conference 122 

"More than half the cargo " 124 

Proportion and destination 125 

Provision of Declaration of London 127 

Nature of cargo 128 

Destination of cargo. 128 

British view 129 

Resume* . , 130 

Solution 132 



International Law Situations, 



WITH SOLUTIONS AND NOTES. 



Situation I. 



ASYLUM IN NEUTRAL PORT. 



States X and Y are at war. The United States is 
neutral. Colliers belonging to and bound for fleet of 
State X are steaming along the coast of the United States 
just outside the 3-mile limit, when they sight a cruiser 
of State Y. The colliers immediately steam within the 
3-mile limit and after 6 hours reach a United States port. 
The commander of the cruiser requests that the colliers 
be interned. The senior master of the colliers claims that 
he is entitled to the privileges of the 24-hour rule and 
that he will depart immediately, but that the cruiser 
must remain in port the prescribed time after his depar- 
ture. With 24 hours' start the colliers can reach the fleet 
before they can be overtaken by the enemy cruiser. 

SOLUTION. 

In absence of treaty or other special regulation, the 
colliers of State X should be allowed to depart within 
24 hours. 

The cruiser of State Y should be detained 24 hours 
after the departure of the colliers. 

NOTES. 

Regulations of Institute of International Law. — The 
Institute of International Law at its session at The Hague 

9 



10 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

in 1898 unanimously adopted extended regulations in 
regard to belligerent vessels in a neutral port : 

Art. 38. L'embargo mis sur des navires strangers ancres dans 
un port ne peut etre Justine qu'a titre de retorsion ou de re- 
prSsailles. 

II ne peut etre exerc6 que directement au nom de l'Etat et par 
ses proposes. 

On doit, autant que possible, faire connaitre k ceux qui sont 
l'objet de cette mesure les motifs qui l'ont imposee et sa duree 
probable. 

L'embargo doit §tre leve des que la satisfaction demandee a 
ete accorde-e. A defaut de satisfaction recue, il peut §tre proced§ 
k la vente du navire sur lequel il porte, avec attribution du prix k 
l'Etat qui l'a mis. 

Art. 39. Le droit d'angarie est supprime, soit en temps de paix, 
soit en temps de guerre, quant aux navires neutres. 

Art. 40. Les navires de commerce qui, au debut des hostilites ou 
lors de la declaration de guerre, se trouvent dans un port ennemi, 
ne sont pas sujets a saisie, dans le delai determine par les au- 
torites. Pendant ce delai, ils peuvent y decharger leur cargaison 
et en prendre une autre. 

Art. 41. Les navires de commerce contraints par un accident de 
force majeure de se refugier dans un port ennemi, ne peuvent y 
Stre captures. Ils sont tenus, pendant leur sejour, de se conformer 
exactement aux prescriptions de l'autorite locale, et de reprendre 
la mer dans le delai qui leur aura §te indiqug. 

Si c'est un navire de guerre qui a 6t6 ainsi contra int de chercher 
un refuge dans un port ennemi, il peut etre genereux de l'accuellir 
en lui donnant les moyens de reprendre la mer; sinon, il sera 
reguliSrement capture. 

Art. 42. La concession d'asile aux belligerants dans les ports 
neutres, tout en dependant de la decision de l'Etat souverain du 
port et ne pouvant etre exigee, est presumee, a moins de notifica- 
tion contraire prealablement communiquee. 

Toutefois, quant aux navires de guerre, elle doit etre limitee 
aux cas de veritable detresse, par suite de: (1°) Defaite, maladie 
ou equipage insuffisant, (2°) peril de mer, (3°) manque des 
moyens d'existence ou de locomotion (eau, charbon, vivres), (4°) 
besoin de reparation. 

Un navire belligerant se refugiant dans un port neutre devant 
la poursuite de l'ennemi, ou apr§s avoir ete d6fait par lui, ou 
faute d'equipage pour tenir la mer, doit y rester jusqu'S, la fin de 
la guerre. II en est de meme s'il y transporte des malades ou des 
blesses, et qu'apres les avoir debarques, il soit en etat de com- 
battre. Les malades et les blesses, tout en etant regus et secourus, 



Regulations of Institute. 11 

sont, apres guerison, internes egalement, a moins d'etre reconnus 
impropres au service militaire. 

Un refuge contre un peril de mer n'est donne aux navires de 
guerre des belligerants que pour la duree du danger. On ne leur 
fournit de l'eau, du charbon, des vivres et autres approvislonne- 
ments analogues qu'en la quantite necessaire pour atteindre le 
port national le plus proche. Les reparations ne sont permises que 
dans la mesure necessaire pour que le batiment puisse tenir la 
mer. Immediatement apres, le navire doit quitter le port et les 
eaux neutres. 

Si deux navires ennernis sont prets a sortir d'un port neutre 
simultanement, l'autorite locale etablit, entre leurs appareillages, 
un intervalle suffisant de vingt-quatre heures au moins. Le droit 
de sortir le premier appartient au navire le premier entre, ou, s'il 
ne veut pas en user, a. l'autre, a la charge d'en reclamer l'exercice 
a l'autorite locale, qui lui delivre l'autorisation. si l'adversaire, 
dtiment avise, persiste a rester. Si, a la sortie du navire d'un 
belligerant, un ou plusieurs navires ennemis sont signales, le 
navire sortant doit etre averti et peut etre readmis dans le port 
pour y attendre l'entree ou la disparition des autres. II est 
defendu d'aller a la rencontre d'un navire ennemi dans le port ou 
les eaux neutres. 

Les navires des belligerants doivent, en port neutre, se conduire 
pacifiquement, obeir aux ordres des autorites, s'abstenir de toutes 
hostilites, de toute prise de renfort et de tout recrutement mili- 
taire, de tout espionnage et de tout emploi du port comme base 
d'operation. 

Les autorites neutres font respecter, au besoin par la force, les 
prescriptions de cet article. 

L'lStat neutre peut exiger une indemnite de l'Etat belligerant 
dont il a entretenu soit des forces legalement internees, soit des 
malades et blesses, ou dont les navires ont, par megarde ou par 
infraction a l'ordre du port, occasionne des frais ou dommage. 

Art. 43. Une attaque, commencee dans la haute mer, ne peut 
§tre poursuivie dans un port ou une rade neutres ou s'est refugie' 
un navire, sans une violation du territoire neutre, qui doit etre 
reprimee par la puissance territoriale, au besoin par la force, et 
peut donner droit a une indemnite. (17 Annuaire de l'lnstitut de 
Droit International, 1898, Session de la Ha ye, p. 284.) 

The Institute of International Law in its session at 
Edinburgh in 1904 reaffirmed these rules as generally 
recognized in cases of sojourn of warships of belligerents 
in neutral ports and their departure from such ports. 

(20 Annuaire de l'lnstitut de Droit International, 3904, p. 336.) 



12 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

Questions before Institute of International Law, 1910. — 
The question of hospitality to ships of war in neutral 
waters was regarded by the Institute of International 
Law in 1910 as one of the most important of the ques- 
tions relating to maritime warfare upon which there re- 
mained such divergency of opinion as to require extended 
study and consideration. 

The reporters of the committee of the Institute, MM. 
Ch. Dupuis and A. de Lapradelle, prepared a question- 
naire which shows how many problems may easily arise 
in consequence of the unsettled condition of the relations 
of belligerents and neutrals in case of war upon the sea. 
The questionnaire in itself is suggestive: 

I. Les ports neutres doivent-ils etre assimiles, en ce qui con- 
cerne l'asile, an territoire neutre? Les navires de guerre bellige- 
rants qui entrent dans un port neutre doivent-ils y etre retenus et 
desarmes, comme le sont les troupes belligerantes qui penetrent 
en territoire neutre? Ou bien l'Etat neutre a-t-il le droit d'ac- 
cueillir dans ses ports les navires belligerants pour leur permettre 
ensuite cle reprendre la mer? Peut-il donner asile a ces navires 
sans limitation de nombre?- Y a-t-il lieu de distinguer selon que 
les navires entrent au port . se soustraire & la poursuite de l'en- 
nemi ou pour toute autre cause? 

II. Si l'Etat neutre pent admettre dans ses ports et laisser 
sortir les navires belligerants, est-il maitre de fixer, a son gre, 
la duree et les conditions du sejour des navires belligerants, sans 
autre limitation que d'interdire la transformation de ses ports en 
bases d'operations navales? 

III. Doit-on admettre le principe souvent f ormule en ces termes : 
un navire belligerant entre dans un port neutre peut en sortir 
plus apte a naviguer, non plus apte a combattre? 

IV. Si l'Etat neutre peut permettre la sortie d'un navire de 
guerre belligerant refugie dans ses ports et s'il n'est pas libre de 
determiner, a sa guise, les conditions du sejour, quelles regies 
est-il tenu d' observer: 1° en ce qui concerne la duree du se\jour; 
2° en ce qui concerne les actes a permettre ou a interdire pendant 
le sejour? 

V. Dans quelle mesure, l'Etat neutre doit-il permettre ou in- 
terdire: 1° la reparation des avaries; 2° le ravitaillement en 
vivres, en combustible? 

VI. Est-il tenu de limiter le ravitaillement en combustible a 
la quantite necessaire pour atteindre le port national le plus 



Questions Before Institute. 13 

proche? Que faudrait-il alors entendre par le port national le 
plus proche? Y aurait-il lieu de tenir compte du sens du voyage 
des na vires? 

L'Etat neutre peut-il autoriser les navires de guerre belligerants 
k completer leurs soutes de combustible? 

VII. L'Etat neutre est-il tenu de fixer un laps de temps pen- 
dant lequel le navire de guerre belligerant qui se serait ravitaille' 
dans un de ses ports ne pourrait plus le faire de nouveau? Quel 
serait le delai minimum? L'interdiction pourrait-elle ne viser 
que le port ou aurait eu lieu le primier ravitaillement, ou de- 
vrait-elle viser tous les ports de l'Etat, ou bien les ports qui 
seraient & peu de distance (et k quelle distance?) du port ou aurait 
eu lieu le premier ravitaillement? 

VIII. l'Etat neutre est-il tenu d'interdire: 1° la construction; 
2° le depart de navires de guerre (non montes par leurs equi- 
pages) ou susceptibles d'etre transformes en navires de guerre? 
Y a-t-il lieu de distinguer selon que l'ordre de construction serait 
ou non anterieur a la guerre? 

IX. L'Etat neutre est-il tenu d'interdire aux prises l'acces de 
ses ports ou d'y limiter la duree de leur sejour? 

X. Lorsque deux navires de guerre ennemis se trouvent dans 
le meme port neutre, l'Etat neutre est-il libre de fixer, a son gre, 
l'ordre de leur depart? Doit-il tenir compte de la force respective 
des deux adversaires, de l'ordre de leur arrivee, de l'ordre de leur 
demande de depart? 

XL La mer territoriale doit-elle etre assimilee aux ports (au 
territoire maritime) en ce qui concerne la presence des navires 
de guerre belligerants? 

XII. Un Etat neutre est-il tenu d'interdire le passage dans ses 
eaux territoriales aux navires de guerre belligerants? A-t-il le 
droit de l'interdire en totalite ou en partie? S'il a ce droit, peut-il 
en user meme en ce qui concerne les detroits unissant deux mers 
libres? 

XIII. S'il n'est pas tenu d'interdire le passage, est-il tenu d'in- 
terdire le sejour dans ses eaux territoriales? Doit-il mettre ob- 
stacle au ravitaillement, dans ses eaux, par des navires de trans- 
port dont le chargement aurait et£ pris en dehors de ses propres 
ports? 

XIV. Quelles responsabilites l'Etat neutre encourt-il s'il tol§re 
dans ses ports ou dans ses eaux territoriales la presence, le sejour 
ou le ravitaillement illicite de navires de guerre belligerants? 
Les responsabilites sont-elles les memes pour les faits commis 
dans les eaux territoriales que pour les faits commis dans les 
j)orts? (23 Annuaire de l'lnstitut de Droit International (1910), 
p. 28.) 



14 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

Some of these questions have received attention in the 
conferences at the Naval War College in previous years 
and some are involved in the situation now under consid- 
eration, a situation which was proposed in 1910, but de- 
ferred to this conference for discussion, as there was not 
time to devote to it in 1910. 

The Institute of International Law had considered in 
meetings of previous years, particularly in 1906, many of 
the matters relating to neutrality in time of maritime 
war. After consideration, tentative answers were given 
to the questions proposed in 1910. Among these tenta- 
tive rules were: 

Abticle 1. L'Etat ne.utre est libre de fermer ou d'ouvrir ses 
ports aux navires de guerre de tous les Etats engages dans la 
lutte. 

II ne doit pas modifier, au cours de la lutte, les regies qu'il 
a adoptees & moms que l'expgrience acquise ait demontre la 
necessite d'un changement pour la sauvegarde de ses droits. 

II n'est pas tenu de limiter le nombre des vaisseaux admis 
simultanement dans ses ports, s'il a pris soin de r&server sa 
liberte, a cet egard, par des dispositions precises de ces lois. 

Toutefois, il est tenu de desarmer et de retenir, jusqu'a la fin 
des bostilites, les navires de guerre qui se sont refugies dans ses 
ports pour echapper k la poursuite de l'ennemi. (Ibid., pp. 96, 98.) 

Art. 11. * * * Lorsque deux navires de guerre portant 
pavilion de deux belligerants ennemis se trouvent, en meme 
temps, dans un port neutre, un delai de 24 beures au moins doit 
s'ecouler entre la sortie de chacun d'eux. Le droit de sortir le 
premier appartient au vaisseau qui est entre le premier. Toute- 
fois si celui-ci ne veut pas user de son droit de priority ou s'il est 
evidemment plus for que l'autre, l'Etat neutre peut autoriser le 
b&timent qui est entre le second a sortir le premier. 

Art. 12. L'Etat neutre n'est pas tenu d'interdire le passage, 
dans ses eaux territoriales, aux navires de guerre belligerants et 
a leurs prises. 

II peut l'interdir.e dans les portions de ces eaux qui sont en 
dehors des routes maritimes necessaires a la navigaf ion ; il doit 
le permettre dans les detroits qui constituent le seul moyen de 
passage d'une mer libre a une autre mer libre. 

Art. 13. L'Etat neutre doit interdire aux navires de guerre 
belligerants, dans ses eaux territoriales, tout sejour qui ne serait 
pas motive" par la necessite d'un ravitaillement licite en port 
neutre. (Ibid., pp. 96, 98.) 



Opinions of Publicists. 15 

The two reporters of the third committee of the Insti- 
tute were not, however, in agreement upon what should 
be the rules in regard to neutral hospitality in maritime 
war, and M. de Lapradelle proposed among other rules 
the following: 

Article Premier. Les navires de guerre de tous les Etats en- 
gages dans la lutte ont droit a l'hospitalite maritime neutre aux 
conditions et dans les 1 Unites qui suivent. 

Art. 2. La mer territoriale et les baies, rades et ports des 
Etats neutres leur sont en principe ouverts. 

Art. 3. Dans l'interet de sa security personnelle, tout Etat peut, 
avant l'ouverture des hostilites, limiter par traites, lois et regle- 
ments, le nombre et !a force des navires de gaerre, de mgme 
pavilion, ou de pavilions allies, qui seront admis simultanement 
dans ses ports, rades ou baies en temps de guerre. 

Art. 4. Dans l'interet de sa securite personnelle, l'Etat neutre 
peut fermer celles de ses eaux qu'il juge necessaire d'interdire 
aux navires de guerre belligerants, a condition: 1° de resserrer 
ainsi la navigation sans l'arreter ; 2° de determiner les zones 
interdites des le temps de paix : 3° de les fermer aux navires de 
commerce des belligerants. 

Art. 5. Tout navire de guerre belligerant, qui, meme en cas de 
peril de mer, penetre dans les eaux neutres interdites, doit etre 
aussitSt desarme et retenu jusqu'& la fin des hostilites. 

Art. 6. L'Etat neutre doit immediatement desarmer et retenir, 
jusqu'a la fin des hostilites, le navire de guerre belligerant qui se 
refugie dans ses eaux ouvertes pour echapper a la poursuite de 
l'ennemi. 

Art. 12. Lorsqu'un navire de guerre belligerant se trouve dans 
un port neutre en memo temps qu'un navire de commerce portant 
le pavilion d'un belligerant ennemi, le navire de guerre ne peut 
quitter le port neutre moins de 24 heures apr§s le depart du 
navire de commerce. 

Lorsque deux navires de guerre portant pavilion de belligerants 
ennemis se trouvent, en meme temps, dans un port neutre, un 
delai de 24 heures au moins doit s'eeouler entre la sortie de 
chacun d'eux. Le droit de sortir le premier appartient an vaisseau 
qui est entre le premier. (Ibid., 128.) 

Opinions of publicists on territorial sea. — The question 
of the use of the territorial sea by belligerents has often 
been raised and in late years the further question as to 
whether the same rules should apply to the territorial 
waters off the coast as apply to the ports and harbors 



16 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

has received attention. There has been considerable dif- 
ference of opinion upon this subject. 
Prof. Westlake has said : 

Le droit de passage innocent dans la mer littorale d'un ami 
existe pour un Etat belligerant de meme que pour un Etat 
jouissant de la paix. A l'exception de ce que depend de ce droit, 
que le souverain territorial ne peut pas contester, la mer littorale 
doit etre assimilee aux ports en ce qui concerne la presence des 
navires de guerre belligerants. (23 Annuaire de l'lustitut de 
Droit International (1910), p. 136.) 

Prof. Holland maintained that the territorial sea ought 
not to be assimilated to the ports except perhaps in case 
of a probability that there would be a battle which would 
be a peril to the coast of the neutral state. 

M. Harburger said that territorial waters were, so far 
as concerned the obligations of belligerents, assimilated 
to ports — 

non, eu egard k l'obligation des neutres, qui ne peuvent pas 
toujours savoir, ou etablir s'il y a, dans leurs eaux territoriales, 
des navires de guerre d'un belligerant et quel en est le nombre, 
ou combien de temps ils s'y arretent. Dans la mesure ou 
l'Etat neutre est renseigne sur ce point d'une fagon certaine, il 
est lie par les obligations correspondantes. (Ibid., p. 149.) 

Prof. Kauffmann maintained that in general the ships 
of belligerents are under the same restrictions and pro- 
hibitions in neutral territorial waters as in neutral ports 
and harbors. 

Sojourn in neutral ports. — M. Ch. Dupuis in 1910, in 
making a report involving the sojourn and departure of 
belligerent vessels from neutral ports, said : 

Mais lorsque les deux navires ennemis qui se trouvent en meme 
temps dans un port neutre sont deux navires de guerre, l'ordre 
de sortie est plus delicat a regler. Diverses solutions ont ete 
proposees. La plus rationnelle et la plus seduisante, au premier 
abord, accorde la priorite au batiment le plus faible, mais elle a 
le defaut d'imposer & l'Etat neutre un devoir d'appreciation dont 
l'exercice peut, en certains cas, etre difficile et perilleux. D'apres 
une seconde opinion, l'Etat neutre est libre de fixer, a son gre. 
l'ordre des departs; il ecnappe, ainsi, en droit, & toute responsa- 
bilite dans ses appreciations; mais s'il use de sa liberte pour 
decider, dans chaque cas, & sa guise, il risque d'etre accuse de 



Sojourn in Neutral Ports. 17 

partialite, et s'il en use pour determiner, au debut des liostilites, 
la regie qu'il s'imposera invariablement a lui-meme, cette regie 
pourra en certain cas, donner l'avantage au navire le plus fort. 
•On a propose de regler 1'ordre des sorties suivant l'ordre des 
demandes de depart, mais ce serait inviter le batiment le plus 
puissant a formuler sa demande des qu'entrerait au port un vais- 
seau plus faible portant le pavilion de l'ennemi. Enfin l'ordre 
des departs peut etre regl6 d'apres l'ordre des arrivees. Le navire 
le plus fort peut etre appele a sortir le premier, mais en raison 
d'un fait absolument independant de la volonte de l'Etat neutre ; 
la responsabilite' de l'Etat neutre se trouve done ainsi degagee. 
(23 Annuaire de l'lnstitut de Droit International, p. 88.) 

Other opinions were also given. Among these were: 
M. Lehr: 

L'Etat neutre doit forcer a partir, le premier, celui des deux 
navires dont les reparations et ravitaillement indispensables ont 
ete terminus en premier lieu, et n'autoriser le second a sortir. & 
son tour, que 24 lieures apr§s le depart du premier navire. (Ibid., 
p. 143.) 

M. Harburger : 

Comme le dispose l'article 16 de la Convention XIII me , e'est 
1'epoque de l'entree au port qui doit decider de l'ordre a suivre. 
Mais, si l'un des deux navires est considerablement plus fort que 
l'autre, il faut accorder, sans egard a 1'epoque de 1'arrivee, au 
plus faible des deux, sur sa demande, la priorite du depart, car 
autrement le navire le plus fort pourrait stationner dans les 
environs du port et guetter 1'arrivee du navire le plus faible. Si 
le navire le plus faible etait oblige, a raison de son arrivee pos- 
terieure, de prendre la mer apres le navire le plus fort arrive eri 
premier lieu, il est a prevoir qu'on sacrifierait ainsi le navire le 
plus faible au navire le plus fort. Si la raison qui a determine 
l'entree au port n&cessite, de la part du navire arrive en premier 
lieu un sejour plus long que de la part du navire arrive en second 
lieu, l'autorisation de partir en premiere ligne peut etre accordee 
k ce dernier, & moins que le difference des forces des deux navires 
ne milite en faveur du maintien du principe de la priorite. (Ibid., 
p. 148.) 

M. A. Rolin : 

Nous serions pour notre part fort dispose k ne pas imposer & 
l'Etat neutre de regies fixes et invariables. La raison en est 
qu'il est difficile de prevoir toutes les eventualites. C'est meme 
tout au plus que nous admettrions qu'il doit s'ecouler au moins 
24 lieures entre le depart des navires ennemis. (Ibid., p. 168.) 

8901—11 2 ' 



18 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

M. Kaufmann: 

1°. Lorsque deux navires de guerre ennemis se trouvent dans 
le m§me port neutre, l'ordre des departs est determine par l'ordre 
des arrivees, a moins que le navire arrive le premier ne soit pas 
dans le cas ou la prolongation de la duree legale du sejour est 
admise, c'est-a-dire par le droit international. 

2°. L'autorite ne peut intervertir l'ordre des departs si le navire 
de guerre qui, d'apres la regie sus-mentionnee, devait partir le 
premier, avait une superiorite de force evidente et grande. 

3°. II doit s'ecouler au moins 24 heures entre le depart d'un 
navire d'un belligerant et le depart du navire de l'autre. (Ibid., 
p. 173.) 

The Hague rule on passage through neutral waters. — 
The Hague rule in regard to the passage of belligerent 
ships through neutral waters is to the effect that— 

The neutrality of a power is not affected by the mere passage 
through its territorial waters of ships of war or of prize belong- 
ing to the belligerents. (Art. 10, Convention XIII, " Rights and 
Duties of Neutral Powers in case of Maritime War.") 

That even this regulation was not altogether satisfac- 
tory is shown in the report which was presented by the 
Comite d'Examen. A part of this report forms a sort of 
commentary upon article 10 and should be considered 
with it as showing the attitude of several powers upon the 
use of neutral waters.. 

Le passage dans les eaux territoriales neutres a donne lieu k 
diverses difficultes. 

L' Article 32 et dernier de la proposition britannique disait: 
"Aucune des dispositions contenues aux articles precedents ne 
sera interpretee de fagon a prohiber le passage simple des eaux 
neutres en temps de guerre par un navire de guerre ou navire 
auxiliaire d'un belligerant." Cela pouvait s'entendre en ce sens 
que le neutre n'avait pas le droit d'interdire aux navires de 
guerre de traverser ses eaux, et il a ete explique plus haut que, 
dans 1'esprit de la proposition britannique, il fallait distinguer ce 
simple passage de Facets ou du sejour dans les eaux territoriales. 

Dans la seance du 28 juiliet, le premier Delegue de Suede, a 
propos de Particle 30 de la proposition britanique reconnaissant & 
un fitat neutre le droit d'interdire totalement ou en partie l'acces 
de ses ports ou de ses eaux territoriales, avait signale la situa- 
tion speciale concernant-les detroits qui peuvent etre situes dans 
le rayon des eaux territoriales et suggere l'addition d'une disposi- 
tion votee par l'lnstitut de Droit International en 1894 : " Les 



Passage Through Neutral Waters. 19 

detroits qui servent de passage d'une mer libre a. un autre mer 
libre ne peuvent jamais etre fermes." 

Dans la seance du 30 juillet, M. Vedel, Delegue danois, a lu la 
declaration suivante : 

" L'amendement que la Delegation danoise s'est permis de pro- 
poser a l'article 32 du projet britannique (Vol. Ill, Trois. Com. 
Annexe 45), limite aux eaux territoriales, unissant deux mers 
libres, le droit du passage simple des navires de guerre et des 
navires auxiliaires d'un belligerant." 

La Delegation danoise, en presentant cet amendement, s'est 
inspiree surtout des raisons suivantes : La reconnaissance d'un 
droit illimite de simple passage pour les navires de guerre des 
bellig^rants, ne saurait gu§re se concilier avec un droit, pour les 
neutres, de barrer, en vue de la defense de leur neutralite, des 
eaux interieures, notamment celles a double entree, qui offrent des 
opportunites speciales a, une flotte belligerante comme base 
d'operations, ainsi que pour certaines actions illicites dans les 
eaux neutres. En accordant aux belligerants le droit de simple 
passage a travers les eaux territoriales, mais en autorisant en 
meme temps les neutres a barrer l'entree de ces eaux, Ton repren- 
drait d'une main ce qu'on aurait donne de l'autre. Comme la 
pose de mines sous-marines par les neutres est de la competence 
d'une autre Commission, je ne puis entrer dans les details de 
cette question. Je desire seulement relever la connexite des deux 
questions, et ensuite l'interet qu'il y a k ne pas restreindre par la 
Convention l'exercice des droits souverains du neutre sur ses 
eaux territoriales de manure a le priver d'un de ses moyens les 
plus efficaces pour maintenir des prescriptions importantes de 
cette meme Convention. 

La question avait ete renvoyee au Comite d'Examen ou elle a 
ete discutee sans que des resolutions aient €te" arrgtees au sujet 
des points indiques. De l'echange de vues qui a eu lieu, il semble 
resulter qu'un Etat neutre peut interdire meme le simple passage 
dans des parties limitees de ses eaux territoriales, en tant que 
cela lui parait ngcessaire pour le maintien de sa neutralite, mais 
que cette interdiction ne peut s'etendre aux detroits qui unissent 
deux mers libres. 

La formule adoptee dans l'article 10 et inspiree par un amende- 
ment de la Delegation britannique (Vol. Ill, Trois. Com. Annexe 
56) ne tranche nullement les questions precedentes, laissees sous 
l'empire du droit des geus general. Elle se borne a, dire que le 
passage dans les eaux territoriales des navires de guerre des 
bellig£rantes ne compromet pas la neutralite de l'Etat, ce qui 
implique, a, la fois, que les belligerantes ne contreviennent pas h 
Ja neutralite en passant, et que le neutre ne manque pas & ses 
devoirs en laissant passer. 



20 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

Malgre le caractere inoffensif de la disposition, l'Aniiral Sperry 
a declare ne pouvoir accepter l'article du projet, a raison des con- 
siderations politiques impliquees dans la question du passage k 
tra vers les eaux territoriales. 

Dans la stance de la Sous-Commission du 30 juillet, S. Exc. 
Turkhan Pacha a lu la declaration suivante : 

" La Delegation ottomane croit de son devoir de declarer 
qu'etant donne la situation exceptionnelle creee aux detroits des 
Dardanelles et du Bosphore par les traites en vigueur, ces detroits, 
qui sont partie integrante du territoire, ne sauraient, en aucun 
cas, etre vises par l'article 32 des propositions britanniques. Le 
Gouvernement imperial ne saurait d'aucune facon prendre un en- 
gagement quelconque tendant a limiter ses droits indiscutables 
sur ces detroits." 

Acte a ete donne de cette declaration reproduite a plusieurs 
reprises et, en dernier lieu, a propos de l'article 10 qui suit. 

S. Exc. M. Tsudzuki a, de son cote, declare que la Gouvernement 
japonais ne prenait aucun engagement concernant les detroits 
qui separent les nombreuses iles ou ilots qui composent 1'empire 
japonais et qui ne sont que des parties integrantes de 1'empire. 
(Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome I, p. 304.) 

Refuge in a neutral port. — -A questionnaire of the Sec- 
ond Hague Conference in 1907 asked : 

VII. Quelle est la condition d'un navire de guerre d'un belligerant 
qui se refugie dans un port neutre pour echapper a la poursuite 
de son adversaire? 

To this a single reply was given by Great Britain: 

(15) Lorsq'un navire de guerre d'un belligerant se refugie dans 
des eaux neutres afin d'echapper a la poursuite de l'ennemi, il 
incombe au Gouvernement de l'Etat neutre de i'interner jusqu'a 
la fin la guerre. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 708.) 

The Brazilian delegate, Capt. Burlamaqui de Moura, 
maintaining that the rights and duties of neutral powers 
in maritime warfare were matters of much importance to 
Brazil, said in regard to refuge in a neutral port : 

7. Lorsqu'un navire de guerre d'un belligerant se r§fugie dans 
les ports et eaux territoriales neutres pour echapper & la pour- 
suite de son adversaire, s'il ne peut pas effectuer les reparations 
necessaires, ni s'approvisionner de maniere a pouvoir reprendre le 
large, dans le delai qui peut lui etre concede, c'est-a-dire dans 
ce delai de 24 beures, il est preferable pour le garantie de l'Etat 
neutre de I'interner jusqu'a la fin de la guerre. 



Refuge Under Brazilian Treaty. 21 

C'est le moyen le plus stir de se conformer au veritable esprit 
de la neutrality. On ne procede pas, en ce faisant, avec trop de 
rigueur, car on evitera ainsi l'extremit§ de fermer les ports a ces 
navires, ce qui pourrait entrainer pour eux de serieux dommages, 
et d'autre part on evitera les complications que la difficulty de 
cette delicate question pourrait soulever. 

On ne peut proceder ici de la meme maniere que dans le cas 
cle navires en detresse par suite d'avaries provenant de l'etat de 
la mer. 

Dans ce dernier cas la solution adinise par tous c'est de laisser 
libre de repartir le navire accueilli dans ces conditions, mais s'il 
n' est pas fait ainsi et si dans se cas particulier, on accorde le 
refuge, on comniettrait une premiere infraction au principe de 
1' inviolability des ports et des eaux neutres, infraction qui naturel- 
lement sera consideree comme complete si Ton n'exige pas la sortie 
subsequente du navire belligerant, apres le delai liabituel de 24 
heures de son sejour dans ces ports ou dans ces eaux. 

Une consideration d'humanite doit determiner sans doute les 
neutres a recevoir un navire belligerant poursuivi; ce secours 
etant indispensable pour qu'il echappe a un danger qui peut com- 
promettre gravement la situation de ceux qui se trouvent a son 
oord ou qui peut l'exposer a une perte certaine s'il ne se refugie 
pas dans le premier port qui se presente a lui. 

Mais une fois que ce devoir est accompli, qu'on a laisse de cote 
les regies etablies sur ce sujet pour ne plus faire place qu'aux 
sentiments Chretiens, qui commandent non seulement qu'on ac- 
cueille le navire, mais meme qu'on aille & son secours, pour le 
sauver, on admet aujourd'hui pour faciliter au neutre le maintien 
de sa neutrality que ces navires devront etre retenus dans les 
ports et les eaux neutres, y etre desarm^s et qu'ils ne pourront 
reprendre aucnne part aux hostilites pendant la duree de la 
guerre. (Deux. Gonf. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 582.) 

Refuge under Brazilian treaty. — The treaty of 1828 
with Brazil would be binding in case one of the parties 
to the war was net also a party to the Hague convention. 
Article 8 provides : 

Whenever the citizens or subjects of either of the contracting 
parties shall be forced to seek refuge or asylum in the rivers, 
bays, ports or dominions of the other, with their vessels, whether 
of merchant or of war, public or private, through stress of 
weather, pursuit of pirates or enemies, they shall be received and 
treated with humanity, giving to them all favor and protection, 
for repairing their ships, procuring provisions, and placing them- 
selves in a situation to continue their voyage without obstacle or 
hindrance of any kind. (Treaties and Conventions, 1776-1909, 
vol. 1, p. 136.) 



22 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

This article makes special provision for asylum for 
vessels of war pursued by enemies ifntil they can place 
" themselves in a situation to continue their voyage with- 
out obstacle or hindrance of any kind." A strict inter- 
pretation of such an article would nullify the doctrine 
of internment. 

Brazilian neutrality proclamation, 1898. — Article 8 of 
the treaty of 1828 does not seem to accord with the 
clauses of the Brazilian neutrality proclamation issued 
during the Spanish-American War of 1898. 

VI. No warship or privateer shall be permitted to enter and re- 
main, with prizes, in our ports or bays during more than 24 hours, 
except in case of a forced putting into port, and in no manner 
shall it be permitted to it to dispose of its prizes or of articles 
coming out of them. 

By the words " except in case of a forced putting into port " 
should also be understood that a ship shall not be required to 
leave port within the said time: 

First. If it shall not have been able to make the preparations 
indispensable to enable it to go to sea without risk of being lost. 

Second. If there should be the same risk on account of bad 
weather. 

Third. And, finally, if it should be menaced by an enemy. 

In these cases, it shall be for the Government, at its discretion, 
to determine, in view of the circumstances, the time within which 
the ship should leave. 

VII. Privateers, although they do not conduct prizes, shall not 
be admitted to the ports of the Republic for more than 24 hours, 
except in the cases indicated in the preceding section. 

VIII. No ship with the flag of one of the belligerents, employed 
in the war, or destined for the same, may be provisioned, equipped, 
or armed in the ports of the Republic, the furnishing of victuals 
and naval stores which it may absolutely need and the things 
indispensable for the continuation of its voyage not being included 
in this prohibition. 

XX. The last provision of the preceding section presupposes 
that the ship is bound for a certain port, and that it is only en 
route and puts into a port of the Republic through stress of cir- 
cumstances. This, moreover, will not be considered as verified if 
the same ship tries the same port repeated times, or after having 
been relieved in one port should subsequently enter another, under 
the same pretext, except in proven cases of compelling circum- 
stances. Therefore, repeated visits without a sufficiently justified 
motive would authorize the suspicion that the ship is not really 
en route, but is frequenting the seas near Brazil in order to make 



Brazilian Neutrality Proclamation. 23 

prizes of hostile ships. In such cases, asylum or succor given to 
a ship would be characterized as assistance or favor given against 
the other belligerent, being thus a breach of neutrality. 

Therefore, a ship which shall once have entered one of our ports 
shall not be received in that or another shortly after having left 
the first, in order to take victuals, naval stores, or make repairs, 
except in a duly proved case of compelling circumstances, unless 
after a reasonable interval which would make it seem probable 
that the ship had left the coast of Brazil and had returned after 
having finished the voyage she was undertaking. 

X. The movements of the belligerent will be under the super- 
vision of the customs authorities from the time of entrance until 
that of departure, for the purpose of verifying the proper character 
of the things put on board. 

XV. The ships of either of the belligerents, however, which may 
be admitted to anchorage or harbor in the Republic, must remain 
in perfect quiet and complete peace with all the ships which 
may be there, especially those of war or armed for war, belonging 
to the hostile power. 

The Brazilian forts and war ships will be ordered to fire upon 
a ship which shall attack its enemy within Brazilian harbors or 
territorial waters. 

XVI. No ship shall be allowed to leave port immediately after 
a ship belonging to a hostile nation or a neutral nation. 

If the vessel leaving, as well as that left behind, be a steamer, 
or both be sailing vessels, there shall remain the interval of 24 
hours between the sailing of one and the other. If the one leaving 
be a sailing vessel and that remaining a steamer, the latter may 
only leave 72 hours thereafter. 

Brazilian forts and warships shall fire upon any armed vessel 
which may be preparing to leave before the expiration of the indi- 
cated interval, after the departure of a ship belonging to the other 
belligerent. 

* * * * * 

XVIII. Belligerent warships which shall not wish to have their 
departure impeded by the successive leaving of merchant vessels 
or hostile war ships should communicate, 24 hours in advance, to 
one of the officials indicated in the preceding section and who 
shall be the authorized person on the occasion, an application for 
leaving. Priority of sailing will be determined by the receipt of 
advice. 

XIX. Warships may not leave port unless the merchant vessels 
of the other belligerent which may be at the bar or have been 
announced by telegraph or other means first enter, except the 
respective commanders give their word of honor to the com- 
mandant of the naval station, and, in default of him, to the 



24 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

authorized official, that they will do no harm to them ; and if, 
besides this, they shall not. be prevented. (U. S. Foreign Rela- 
tions, 1S9S, p. 847.) 

Questionnaire of the Hague Conference, 1907. — The 
questionnaire before the Hague Conference in 1907 asked 
whether the duration of the sojourn of ships of war of 
belligerents in the ports and waters of neutrals should .be 
limited. The replies of Spain, Great Britain, Japan, 
and Russia received particular consideration and were as 
follows : 

Spain : 

Art. 3. Les vaisseaux belligerants ne .pourront sejourner plus 
de 24 heures dans les ports ou les eaux neutres, sauf par cause 
d'avarie, etat de la mer ou autre force majeure. 

Great Britain : 

(11) Une Puissance neutre devra notifier a tout navire de 
guerre d'une Puissance belligerante — stationnant & sa connaissance 
dans ses ports ou eaux territoriales au moment de l'ouverture des 
hostilites — qu'il ait k partir dans les 24 heures. 

(12) Une Puissance neutre ne devra pas sciemment permettre 
a un navire belligerant de demeurer dans ses ports ou eaux terri- 
toriales pour une periode de plus de 24 heures, sauf dans les cas 
prevus aux articles de la presente Convention. 

Japan : 

(2) Les na vires belligerants ne pourront entrer ni sejourner 
dans les ports ou eaux neutres plus de 24 heures, sauf dans les cas 
suivants : 

(a) Dans le cas ou l'etat de la mer empecherait lesdits n a vires 
de reprendre le large, la duree de sejour legale sera 6tendue 
jusqu'a ce que cet etat de la mer cesse d'etre un danger. 

(6) L'intervalle de ni plus ni moins de 24 heures doit etre 
maintenu entre le depart d'un port ou des eaux neutres d'un 
batiment de commerce ou d'un batiment de guerre d'un belligerant, 
et le depart des memes ports ou eaux neutres d'un batiment de 
guerre de l'autre belligerant. C'est a l'Etat neutre de decider 
lequel des batiments adversaires partira le premier. 

Russia : 

(4) II appartient a l'Etat neutre de fixer le delai de sejour a 
accorder aux batiments de guerre des Etats belligerants dans les 
ports et les eaux territoriales appartenant a cet Etat neutre. 
(Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 708.) 

Great Britain maintained at the Second Hague Con- 
ference in 1907, that when a ship of war of a belligerent 



Questions at Hague, 1907. 25 

sought refuge in neutral waters in order to escape pur- 
suit of its enemy, it was the duty of the Government of 
the neutral State to intern the refugee till the end of the 
war. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 696.) 
This seems also to be covered in the instruction to the 
British delegates, as shown in Sir Edward Grey's letter 
of June 12, 1907. 

33. The subject of the treatment of interned belligerent vessels 
appears to be included in the Russian program under the head- 
ing, " Regime auquel seraient soumis les batiments des belliger- 
ants dans les ports neutres." His Majesty's Government hold 
that while the warship of a belligerent taking refuge in a neutral 
port must, failing her departure within 24 hours, be interned, the 
question of her ultimate disposal is one which it would be best 
to leave to be dealt with under the terms of the treaty of peace. 
You will no doubt remember that one of the conditions of peace 
put forward by the Japanese plenipotentiaries at the negotiations 
at Portsmouth, United States of America, but afterwards aban- 
doned, was the surrender to Japan of the Russian warships 
which had. taken refuge at Kaio-chau, Shanghae, and Saigon, and 
which had there been interned. (Second Peace Conference at 
The Hague, 1907; Parliamentary Papers, Miscellaneous, No. 1, 
1907, p. 17.) 

In the Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of 
Neutral Powers in Naval War, ratified by the United 
States April 17, 1908, and generally approved by the 
States parties to the Second Hague Conference, there are 
several articles referring to the use of neutral waters by 
belligerents. 

Art. XVIII. Belligerent warships may not make use of neutral 
ports, roadsteads, or territorial waters for replenishing or in- 
creasing their supplies of war material or their armament, or for 
completing their crews. 

Art. XIX. Belligerent warships may only revictual in neutral 
ports or roadsteads to bring up their supplies to the peace 
standard. 

Similarly these vessels may only ship sufficient fuel to enable 
them to reach the nearest port in their own country. They may, 
on the other band, fill up their bunkers built to carry fuel, when 
in neutral countries which have adopted this method of de- 
termining the amount of fuel to be supplied. 

If, in accordance with the law of the neutral power, the ships 
are not supplied with coal within 24 hours of their arrival, the 
permissible duration of their stay is extended by 24 hours. 



26 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

Art. XX. Belligerent warships which have shipped fuel in a 
port belonging to a neutral power may not within the succeeding 
three months replenish their supply in a port of the same power. 

Discussion of passage through neutral waters. — Great 
Britain, in presenting a somewhat elaborate scheme in 
regard to the regulation of rights and duties of neutrals 
in maritime war, proposed — 

Aet. 32. Aucune des dispositions contenues aux articles prece- 
dents ne sera interpretee de fagon a prohiber le passage simple des 
eaux neutres en temps de guerre par un navire de guerre ou 
navire auxiliaire d'un belligerant. (Deux, Conf. Int. de la Paix, 
Tome III, p. 699.) 

Of the general scheme Sir Ernest Satow said : 

Mon Gouvernement a cru de son devoir de proproser a la Con- 
ference le reglement dont le projet a ete depose en son nom, 
parce qu'il considere qu'il est de la plus haute importance de 
definir d'une fagon precise le traitement qu'un Etat neutre pourra 
accorder a des vaisseaux de guerre belligerants dans ses ports et 
eaux territoriales. On doit aux neutres de leur indiquer les 
limites dans lesquelles • il leur sera permis en temps de guerre 
d'arbiter et d'approvisionner des navires d'un des belligerants, 
sans qu'ils s'exposent par la a des plaintes justifiees de la part 
de l'autre belligerant. De meme, il n'est que juste de preciser le 
traitement auquel les belligerants auront le droit de S'attendre 
de la part des neutres. Toute incertitude a cet egard ne peut 
donner lieu qu'a des malentendus et a\ des disputes. Or il est 
incontestable que l'incertitude regne en cette matiere. Nous 
n'avons qu'a consulter les textes pour nous en convaincre. Ainsi, 
pour prendre un exemple, il est declare dans plusieurs ouvrages 
de droit international que la r§gle dite des 24 heures est uni- 
versellement reconnue, tandis que nous savons que plusieurs Etats 
ne reconnaissent pas cette regie et ne se croient pas tenus de 
l'observer. (Ibid., p. 571.) 

After discussion of article 32 of the British proposi- 
tion, the form changed to : 

Un Etat neutre ne peut interdire le simple passage dans ses 
eaux territoriales aux vaisseaux de guerre des belligerants. 
(Ibid., p. 718.) 

Later the form was made : 

La neutrality d'un Etat n'est pas compromise par le simple 
passage dans ses eaux territoriales des navires de guerre et des 
prises des belligerants. (Ibid., p. 725.) 



Military Forces and Foreign Jurisdiction. 27 

In its final form as Article X of the Convention con- 
cerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in case 
of Maritime War the same form was followed, except that 
the word " puissance " was substituted for the word 
" Etat." 

M. Hagerup, a member of the permanent court at The 
Hague, in 1910, said of the work of the Hague Confer- 
ence as regards neutral and belligerent rights and duties 
in maritime war : 

La convention de La Haye constitue un grand progres pour les 
petits Etats neutres et cela a un triple point de vue : 

1°. Elle a mis en evant, non pas les devoirs des neutres, mais 
les devoirs des belligerants. 

2°. Elle a mis les devoirs des neutres en rapport avec leurs 
nioyens. 

3°. Elle a etabli la distinction entre les eaux territoriales et 
les ports. (23 Annuaire de 1'Institut de Droit International, 
1910, p. 402.) 

Military forces and foreign jurisdiction. — As a general 
principle the exercise of military force is confined to the 
area within which the State to which the force belongs 
has authority and to the territory of its enemies. The 
entrance of a foreign armed force upon the land of a 
foreign State is usually prohibited even in the time of 
peace, and the rule is that if such force of a belligerent 
enters neutral territory it shall be interned. The Hague 
Convention respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral 
Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land provided : 

Art. XI. A neutral power which receives on its territory troops 
belonging to the belligerent armies shall intern them, as far as 
possible, at a distance from the theater of war. 

Naval forces are, however, received within the terri- 
torial waters of a State freely in time of peace and 
under certain restrictions in time of war. In time of 
war a neutral State must preserve its neutrality, though 
war vessels of one or of both the belligerents may come 
into its ports or waters. The war vessel naturally desires 
freedom of action and the neutral must be able to justify 
its action in granting a degree of freedom. The amount 
of freedom and extent, of privileges which the neutral 



28 . Asylum in Neutral Port. 

might grant to one belligerent without risk of claims for 
indemnity by the other belligerent is not always easy to 
determine. Proclamations of neutrality have often set 
forth the limitations which the neutral State would im- 
pose upon the action of belligerents. While these limita- 
tions might be impartially applied to both of the belliger- 
ents, one belligerent might in fact profit much more than 
the other in the enforcement of the limitations. If the 
spirit of the proclamation of neutrality is such as to 
embody the general principles commonly recognized as 
just, no objection may be raised on the ground that one 
State may by the accident of proximity, nature of its 
resources, or from other such cause be relatively more 
benefited than the other State. It is not always possible 
to determine how far a given proclamation may work 
favorably as regards one belligerent and unfavorably as 
regards another. The Hague Conferences of 1899 and 
1907 and other gatherings of those interested in interna- 
tional questions have tried to mark the line of proper 
conduct of belligerents within neutral jurisdiction and 
obligations of neutrals as regards those who come within 
their jurisdiction. 

In time of war the relations of belligerents and neu- 
trals are changed and some acts which might be freely 
permitted by a neutral in time of peace must be prevented 
or regulated. 

In considering the reconciliation of the rights of neu- 
trals and belligerents at the Second Hague Conference 
in 1907 Count Tornielli, President of the Third Com- 
mission, said: 

Ces preceptes peuvent etre ainsi tommies : 

1°. Reconnaissance reciproque entre les puissances contrac- 
tantes de leur independance legislative en matiere de respect de 
la neutralite ; 

2°. Application impartiale a toutes les parties belligerantes de 
la legislation que chaque Etat se sera donnee; 

3°. Renonciation reciproque par les neutres d'introduire dans 
leurs legislations nationales concernant cette matiere des varia- 
tions pendant que l'etat de guerre existe entre deux ou plusieurs 
puissances contract;! ntes; 

4°. Devoir absolu des belligerants de respecter les lois des 
neutres. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 570.) 



Hague Rule on Internment. 29 

The Hague rule as to internment. — The rule adopted 
at The Hague in 1907 was as follows : 

Art. 24. If, notwithstanding the notification of the neutral 
power, a belligerent ship of war does not leave a port where it is 
not entitled to remain, the neutral power is entitled to take such 
measures as it considers necessary to render the ship incapable of 
taking the sea during the war, and the commanding officer of the 
ship must facilitate the execution of such measures. 

When a belligerent ship is detained by a neutral power, the 
officers and crew are likewise detained. 

The officers and crew thus detained may be left in the ship or 
kept either on another vessel or on land, and may be subjected 
to the measures of restriction which it may appear necessary to 
impose upon them. A sufficient number of men for looking after 
the vessel must, however, be always left on board. 

The officers may be left at liberty on giving their word not to 
quit the neutral territory without permission. (Convention con- 
cerning rights and duties of neutral powers in case of maritime 
war.) 

This rule is not aimed at a vessel which voluntarily 
leaves the neutral port without notification and before 
the time limit allowed for departure has expired. 

The Hague Convention XIII binds United States. — 
The United States has adhered to and proclaimed the 
Hague Convention XIII concerning the Rights and 
Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War. Its provi- 
sions would therefore be binding upon the United States 
in time of a war in which the States concerned were also 
parties to the Convention. 

Art. 28. The provisions of the present convention do not apply 
except between the contracting powers, and only if all the bellig- 
erents are parties to -the convention. 

Prof. Westlake's opinion. — Prof. Westlake speaking of 
the rule permitting to a belligerent vessel of a sojourn of 
24 hours in a neutral port says : 

The first remark on this is that no distinction is made in it 
between the cases of a belligerent ship of war entering neutral 
waters in flight from an enemy to escape from peril of the sea 
or for any reason lying within her free choice. Yet these cases 
may be distinguished in principle. When refuge is given even 
for a limited time to a ship of war flying from an enemy, in which 
must be included the case of escape after defeat although no 
pursuer may be following close, we have not to do with that aid 



30 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

of a merely general nature which can not fail to be received from 
any use of a neutral port, but with the interruption of a specific 
operation of war to the advantage^ of the belligerent who is re- 
ceived but not interned. Accordingly the Institute of Interna- 
tional Law has justly laid down that " a belligerent ship taking 
refuge in a neutral port from pursuit, or after being defeated by 
the enemy, or for want of a sufficient crew to keep the sea, 
must remain there till the end of the war." The same applies 
if she conveys there any sick or wounded, and is in a condition 
for fighting when she has landed them. The sick or wounded, 
although received and succored, must equally be interned after 
being healed unless judged to be unfit for military service. The 
want of a sufficient crew to keep the sea is here put on a level 
with flight from the enemy, because to permit the recruitment 
of men would be a more obvious and flagrant breach of neutrality 
than to permit the receipt of supplies and repairs. In comparing 
the rule of the Institute with the British rule it must be borne 
in mind that the latter only limits the stay of a belligerent ship 
of war, not recognizing or conferring on her a right even to the 
hospitality so limited, and that an intention can not be presumed 
to surrender or fetter the power of the Crown to deal with any 
case as the principles of neutral duty may require. The British 
rule is not, therefore, to be read as insuring a 24-hour stay, free 
from internment, to a ship of war flying from her enemy or want- 
ing a sufficient crew to keep the sea, and we can not believe that 
such would be granted to her. (Westlake, International Law, 
Part II, War, p. 209.) 

Departure of belligerent vessels simultaneously in neu- 
tral port. — The question of the order of departure of ves- 
sels of opposing belligerent parties when such vessels are 
at the same time in a neutral port has often given rise 
to difficulties. Some of these difficulties, and the regula- 
tions of several States in regard to the sojourn and de- 
parture of belligerent vessels from neutral ports are set 
forth in the notes on Situation II of the Naval War Col- 
lege, International Law Situations of 1908 (pp. 37-52). 
The question under consideration in 1908 is, however, 
different from the present situation which relates to per- 
mitted departure while the situation of 1908 related 
particularly to the case of a return to port to escape the 
enemy. The rules in regard to the departure from neu- 
tral ports of the war ships of opposing belligerents have 
been of slow growth. 



Departure of Belligerent Vessels. 31 

At the Second Hague Conference in 1907 a question- 
naire asked: 

VIII. Comment faut-il regler le cas de navires des deux 
parties belligerantes se trouvant simultanement dans un port 
neutre? Fixation de 1'ordre des departs. 

The replies to this question were as follows: 
Great Britain: 

(13) Si des navires, soit de guerre soit de commerce, des deux 
Parties belligerantes se trouvent au meme moment dans le meme 
port ou la meme rade d'un neutre, le Gouvernement neutre ne 
devra pas permettre a, un vaisseau de guerre d'un des belligerants 
de quitter le port ou la rade sauf a l'expiration d'un delai de 24 
heures apres le depart d'un navire, tant de guerre que la com- 
merce, de l'autre belligerant. 

Japan : 

(21)) L'intervaile de ni plus ni moins de 24 heures doit etre 
maintenu entre le depart d'un port ou des eaux neutres d'un 
batiment de commerce ou d'un batiment de guerre d'un bellige- 
rant, et le depart des memes ports ou eaux neutres d'un batiment 
€le guerre de l'autre belligerant. C'est a l'Etat neutre de decider 
lequel des batiments adversaires partira le premier. 

Eussia : 

(6) Lorsque des batiments de guerre et de commerce des deux 
parties belligerantes se trouveront simultanement dans un port 
neutre, il y aura un intervalle de vingt-quatre heures entre le 
depart subsequent des batiments de l'autre belligerant. 

De la priorite de la demande faite par les navires de l'un des 
Etats belligerants peuvent librement profiter les autres navires 
du meme belligerant se trouvant dans le m§me port. (Deux. 
Conf. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 708.) 

After much discussion the Hague Conference adopted 
in the Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of 
Neutral Powers in Maritime War, the rule that: 

Art. 12. I'n the absence of special provisions to the contrary 
in the legislation of the neutral power, belligerent ships of war 
are forbidden to remain in the ports, roadsteads, or territorial 
waters of the said power for more than 24 hours, except in 
cases covered by the present convention. 

Germany ratified this Convention with reserve on this 
article 12. Several of the more important naval powers 
had not ratified the Convention up to July, 1910. 



32 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

It was interpreted in the Conference that the sense of 
article 12 was — 

S'il n'y a pas de loi speciale edictee par l'Etat neutre, c'est la 
loi des 24 heures qui est la regie; il est naturellemeut loisible a 
l'Etat neutre d'etablir un autre delai. Mais, la redaction de 
Particle rend obligatoire pour les Etats qui ne veulent pas de la 
regie de 24 heures, l'etablissement d'une autre regie speciale. 
(Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome III, p. 627.) 

The discussion upon the order of departure of bel- 
ligerent vessels from neutral ports brought out differing 
opinions. These are briefly summarized in the report of 
the Third Commission as follows: 

II y avait done en presence les systenies sulvants; 1. l'Etat 
neutre regie l'ordre des departs; 2. la priorite des demandes est 
prise en consideration ; 3. le navire le plus faible part le premier ; 
4. l'ordre des arrivees determine l'ordre des departs. 

Ce dernier systeme a fini par etre admis, et l'article 16 ci-apres 
a ete vote par 13 voix (Allemagne, Etats-Unis d'Amerique, Bel- 
gique, Bresil, Chine, Danemark, Espagne, France, Italie, Norvege, 
Kussie, Suede, Turquie), contre 3 ( Grande-Bretagne, Japon, Portu- 
gal) ; les Pays-Bas se sont abstenus. 

On a trouve dangereuse pour l'Etat neutre la faculte de fixer 
l'ordre des departs meme en lui donnant quelques indications. Si 
tres souvent l'inegalite entre deux vaisseaux de guerre est evi- 
dente, il peut n'en etre pas ainsi et l'autorite du port pourrait 
etre embarrassee. La regie de l'ordre des arrivees est tres 
simple et le neutre n'aura aucune difficulte a l'appliquer. Elle 
pourra se trouver forcement modifiee si le navire entrant le 
premier est dans un cas ou la duree legale du sejour est prolongee 
k son profit ; il ne peut etre prive de cette prolongation par l'effet 
de l'obligation de partir le premier. La regie des 24 heures est 
maintenue dans les rapports d'un batiment de guerre et d'un 
batiment de commerce en ce sens que le premier ne peut quitter 
un port moins de 24 heures apres le depart du second, mais la 
reciproque n'est pas vraie. Rien n'empeche un batiment de com- 
merce portant le pavilion d'un belligerant de quitter, si cela lui 
eonvient, un port moins de 24 heures aprds un navire de guerre de 
l'autre belligerant. 

II n'y a pas non plus de delai de 24 heures entre les departs de 
deux navires de commerce. 

On avait pense pouvoir ecarter la difficulte resultant de la 
presence simultanee dans un port de deux navires de forces 
inegales au moyen de la disposition suivante : " Si un navire de 
guerre belligerant se dispose a entrer dans un port ou dans une 
rade neutre ou se trouve un navire de guerre de son adversaire, 



Two Views. 33 

l'autorite locale doit, autant que possible, l'avertir de la presence 
du navire adverse." (Vol. Ill, Trois Com. Annexe 53.) Le 
navaire ainsi averti aurait vu ce qu'il avait a faire; s'il se sentait 
plus faible que son adversaire, il pouvait ne pas entrer ou, s'il 
entrait, il savait qu'il ne pourrait sortir qu'apres lui. La proposi- 
tion a fini par etre rejetee par 8 voix (Allemagne, Etats-Unis 
d'Amerique, Chine, Espagne, Grande-Bretagne, Japon, Portugal, 
Suede) contre 5 (Belgique, Bresil, Danemark, France, Italie) et 4 
abstentions (Norvege, Pays-Bas, Russie, Turquie), parce qu'on 
a considere qu'une disposition de ce genre engagerait trop la 
responsabilite du neutre. (Deux. Conf. Int. de la Paix, Tome I, 
p. 313.) 

Article 16 of the Convention concerning the Eights and 
Duties of Neutral Powers in Maritime War adopted after 
much discussion made provision for the order of depar- 
ture of ships of war from neutral ports. 

When ships of war of both belligerents are present simulta- 
neously in the same port or roadstead, a period of not less than 
24 hours must elapse between the departure of a ship belonging 
to the other. 

The order of departure is determined by the order of arrival, 
unless the ship which arrived first is so circumstanced that an 
extension of the period allowed legally is admissible. 

A belligerent ship of war can not leave a neutral port or 
roadstead less than 24 hours after the departure of a merchant 
ship flying the flag of its adversary. 

Two views. — The treatment of a vessel of war which 
has entered a neutral port when pursued by an enemy is 
still a matter for difference of opinion. 

One group maintain that, when a ship of war enters 
a neutral port for a reason which would prompt her to 
enter even if no war existed, the ship should be granted 
the fullest hospitality of the port. Thus a ship of war 
would be received without question when entering be- 
cause of stress of weather, want of fuel or supplies, need 
of repairs, provided fuel or supplies were not with the 
direct purpose of attacking the enemy and repairs were 
of damages caused by other agencies than the enemy. 
This group would not limit the stay of a ship of war in 
a neutral port provided such stay were not directly a part 
of a military operation. M. de Lapradelle says: 

Le traitement du navire de commerce, instrument de la naviga- 
tion sans combat, s'*etend au navire de guerre en tout ce que 
8901—11 3 



34 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

Vun et l'autre out de commun, et s'arr£rte a tout ce que la navire 
de guerre a de special. (23 Annuaire de l'lustitut de Droit 
International, p. 121.) 

It follows from such a position as this that there would 
be no limitation on the sojourn of a ship of Avar other 
than upon a merchant vessel unless the sojourn was a 
step in the conduct of a hostile operation. The entrance 
to a neutral port to escape a pursuing enemy would be 
directly related to the military operations and should 
not be allowed under any conditions other than that of 
internment of the vessel till the end of the war. 

Another group, including lawyers, writers, and naval 
and other administrative officials, favor the grant of a 
24-hour sojourn for any ship of war that may enter a 
neutral port. They maintain that a neutral can not in- 
vestigate the cause of entrance of each vessel, and some- 
times could not learn, even by investigation ; that a mis- 
take by the neutral as to the cause of entry might have 
a serious bearing on the issue of the war; that what 
might seem a military reason to one might not to an- 
other State ; that the complications introduced by inquiry 
as to the reason for entrance would be too burdensome 
upon the neutral, and that a definite rule should be 
established. These favor the 24-hour rule that has been 
widely accepted, contending that if the pursued vessel 
has a position which is so advantageous that it allows her 
to enter a neutral port she is entitled to the benefits of 
such entrance, and that if the pursuer wishes to over- 
come this advantage he should wait outside the neutral 
jurisdiction for 24 hours and then demand the internment 
of the pursued vessel if she does not come out. 

Resume. — The weight of opinion, as shown in discus- 
sions and conventional agreements, seems to be in favor 
of allowing the 24-hour sojourn to vessels of war without 
obliging the neutral to investigate the cause of entrance. 
Practice has been to allow such sojourn. The modern 
tendency is to free the neutral so far as possible from 
the burdens of the war. The 24-hour rule of sojourn is 
well understood and avoids arbitrary decisions which 
might involve controversy. It might occur that a neutral 



Application of Hague Convention. 35 

would not regard a vessel as pursued which was in fact 
pursued. On the other hand, a neutral might consider a 
vessel as pursued which was not in fact pursued and 
a neutral might by internment deprive a belligerent desir- 
ing to make a capture of the opportunity. 

The present law and practice is to allow the 24-hour 
rule to operate in absence of special regulation to the 
contrary, as is stated in article 12 of the Hague Conven- 
tion concerning the Eights and Duties of Neutral Powers 
in Naval War : 

In absence of special provisions to the contrary in the legisla- 
tion of a neutral power, belligerent war ships are not permitted 
to remain in the ports, roadsteads, or territorial waters of the 
said Power for more than 24 hours, except in the cases covered 
by the present convention. 

Application to Situation I. — When States X and Y 
are at war and the United States is neutral, colliers be- 
longing to and bound for the fleet of X do not commit 
any offense against the United States by steaming within 
the 3-mile limit of the United States, as by the Hague 
Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral 
Powers in Naval War, article 10 : 

The neutrality of a Power is not affected by the mere passage 
through its territorial waters of war ships or prizes belonging 
to belligerents. 

The entrance to the port from which the 24-hours' 
sojourn is reckoned is not from the time of passing within 
the 3-mile limit, for in some waters it might at an un- 
favorable tide, or if the vessel were disabled, take the 
entire period to bring the vessel into the harbor. The 
24-hour period for the colliers of State X would, there- 
fore, be reckoned from the time of entrance of the port 
and the colliers would be entitled under ordinary circum- 
stances to remain 24 hours from that time. 

The request of the commander of the cruiser that the 
colliers be interned would be a legitimate one if the 
colliers remained more than 24 hours, unless there were 
extraordinary reasons why a prolongation of sojourn 
should be allowed. 



36 Asylum in Neutral Port. 

In this situation, however, the master of the colliers 
indicates his willingness to depart immediately, and, as 
he is the earlier arrival of two belligerents, he is entitled 
to precedence in departure. 

This claim that the cruiser must remain the prescribed 
time after his departure is in accord with regulations 
and practice. 

Aet. 16. When warships belonging to both belligerents are pres- 
ent simultaneously in a neutral port or roadstead, a period of not 
less than 24 hours must elapse between the departure of the 
ship belonging to one belligerent and the ship belonging to the 
other. (Hague convention, Rights and duties of neutral powers 
in naval war.) 

The fact that the colliers can reach the fleet of X 
before the cruiser of Y can overtake them if allowed 
this 24-hour start is not a matter with which the United 
States has concern. If the commander of the cruiser did 
not wish to come under the laws regulating sojourn in 
neutral ports, he should not enter a neutral port. There 
is no law that prevented him from cruising outside the 
8-mile limit and awaiting the coming of the colliers. 

SOLUTION. 

In absence of treaty provision or other special regula- 
tion, the colliers of State X should be allowed to depart 
within 24 hours. 

The cruiser of State Y should be detained 24 hours 
after the departure of the colliers. 






Situation II. 

PROTECTION TO NEUTRAL VESSELS. 

There is war between States X and Y. The United 
States and Germany are neutral. A United States cruiser 
is convoying six United States merchant vessels and when 
100 miles at sea is overtaken by two German merchant 
vessels having papers from a Prussian port. The Ger- 
man vessels are going on the same course and request the 
protection of the convoy, offering to give the same 
evidence of their neutral character as that offered by the 
United States merchant vessels. Shortly afterwards a 
cruiser of State X approaches and claims that she has 
the right to visit and search the German vessels forth- 
with, while the German masters claim the protection of 
the United States cruiser. 

How should the captain of the United States cruiser 
act? 

SOLUTION. 

The captain of the United States cruiser should, in 
accord with special treaty provision and Navy Regula- 
tions afford to the German vessels " protection and con- 
voy, so far as it is within his power." 

NOTES. 

Historical. — The question of right of convoy became a 
matter of controversy in 1653, when Sweden asserted the 
right of its merchant vessels to exemption from search 
if sailing under the escort of a vessel of war. Great 
Britain generally opposed this contention, and in the 
Admiralty Manual of Prize Law of 1888 said : 

No vessel is exempt from the exercise of these powers (visit 
and search) on the ground that she is under the convoy of a 
neutral public ship. 

From 1653 the continental States gradually came to 
favor the doctrine of convoy. 

37 



38 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

The acceptance by a neutral vessel of convoy of a 
belligerent vessel has been regularly held by the Ameri- 
can and British courts as equivalent to resistance to visit 
and search, and that such a neutral vessel is liable to the 
consequences. The Armed Neutrality League of 1780 
and 1800 emphasized the demand of neutral commerce 
for protection. The resort to paper blockades and other 
arbitrary methods during this period and the early years 
of the nineteenth century prompted the negotiation of 
liberal treaties among the neutral States. Russia, Swe- 
den, Denmark, and Prussia, in 1800, agreed by the terms 
of the league : 

Que la declaration de l'officier, commandant le vaisseau ou les 
vaisseaux de la Marine Royale ou Imperiale, qui accompagneront 
le convoi d'un ou de plusieurs batiments marchands, que son 
convoi n'a a bord aucune marchandise de contrebande, doit 
suffire pour qu'il n'y ait lieu a aucune visite sur son bord ni h 
celui des batiments de son convoi. 

The British position was uniformly against the ac- 
knowledgment of the right of convoy, though early in 
the nineteenth century some modifications of the previous 
British contentions were made. The rules of the con- 
tinental States usually provide that the declaration of a 
convoying officer shall be accepted. 

Spanish- American War, 1898. — In the Spanish- 
American War of 1898 the Spanish war decree provides : 

Merchant vessels sailing under convoy, under charge of one or 
more ships of the navy of their nation, are absolutely exempt 
from the visit of the belligerents, being protected by the im- 
munity enjoyed by the warships. 

As the formation of a convoy is a measure emanating from 
the Government of the State to which belong the vessels pro- 
tecting the convoy, as well as the vessels under convoy, it must 
be taken as certain that the Government in question not only 
will not allow fraud of any kind but has employed the strictest 
measures to avoid fraud being committed by any of the vessels 
under the convoy. 

It is therefore useless for the belligerent to inquire of the 
chief officer of the convoy whether he guarantees the neutrality 
of the ships sailing under his charge, or of the cargo they carry. 
(U. S. Foreign Relations, 1898, p. 778.) 



Japanese and Russian Regulations. 39 

Japanese Regulations, 190J+. — Article XXXIII of the 
Japanese Regulations Governing Captures at Sea, 
1904, is: 

A neutral vessel under convoy of a war vessel of her country 
shall not be visited or searched if the commanding officer of the 
convoying war vessel presents a declaration signed by himself stat- 
ing that there is on board the vessel no person, document, or 
goods that are contraband of war, and that all the ship's papers 
are perfect, and stating also the last port which the vessel left 
and her destination. In case of grave suspicion, however, this 
rule does not apply. 

Russian Regulations, 1904- — Russia in 1904 repub- 
lished the Prize Regulations of March 27, 1895, which 
provided that — 

Merchant vessels sailing under military convoy of an allied or 
neutral power are not subjected to examination, provided the 
commander of the convoy furnishes a certificate as to the num- 
ber of vessels being convoyed, their nationality, and the destina- 
tion of the cargoes, and also as to the fact that there is no con- 
traband of war on the vessels. The stoppage and examination 
of these vessels is permitted only in the following cases: (1) 
When the commander of the convoy refuses to give the cer- 
tificate mentioned; (2) when he declares that one or another 
vessel does not belong to the number of those sailing under his 
convoy; and (3) when it becomes evident that a vessel being 
convoyed is preparing to commit an act constituting a breach of 
neutrality. (U. S. Foreign Relations, 1904, p. 736.) 

The right of convoy of merchant vessels of a neutral 
by warships of the same flag was generally recognized in 
practice at the end of the nineteenth century, though 
Great Britain in theory opposed. 

Treaty provisions as to visit. — There are several 
treaties to which the United States is a party which 
contain provisions in regard to the visit of vessels under 
convoy somewhat similar to or exactly identical with the 
following Brazilian treaty of 1828 : 

Art. 22. It is further agreed that the stipulations above ex- 
pressed relative to the visiting and examining of vessels shall 
apply only to those which sail without convoy ; and when said 
vessel shall be under convoy the verbal declaration of the com- 
mander of the convoy, on his word of honor, that the vessels 
under his protection belong to the nation whose flag he carries, 



40 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

and when they are bound to an enemy's port that they have 
no contraband goods on board shall be sufficient. (Treaties and 
Conventions, 1776-1909, vol. 1, p. 140.) 

Treaties with Columbia, 1846 (art. 23), and Italy, 
1871 (Art. XIX), contain the same regulation. This 
regulation corresponds to article 218 of the Italian Mer- 
cantile Marine Code. 

The treaty with Haiti of 1864, terminated 1905, was 
somewhat more detailed : 

Art. 25. It is expressly agreed by the high contracting parties 
that the stipulations before mentioned relative to the conduct to 
be observed on the sea by the cruisers of the belligerent party 
toward the ships of the neutral party shall be applicable only to 
ships sailing without a convoy; and when the said ships shall 
be convoyed, it being the intention of the parties to observe all 
the regards due to the protection of the flag displayed by public 
ships, it shall not be lawful to visit them, but the verbal declara- 
tion of the commander of the convoy that the ship he convoys 
belongs to the nation whose flag he carries and that they have no 
contraband goods on board shall be considered by the respective 
cruisers as fully sufficient ; the two parties reciprocally engag- 
ing not to admit under the protection of their convoys ships 
which shall have on board contraband goods destined to an 
enemy. (Ibid., p. 928.) 

It will be observed that the declaration which the 
commander of the convoy is usually called upon to make 
is that the vessels under his escort have no contraband 
on board. "With the modern extension of the possi- 
bilities of unneutral service such a declaration might 
shield a vessel which the visiting commander could prop- 
erly seize. The articles in these treaties make no mention 
of blockade. 

Treaty provisions as to convoy. — The United States 
very early made provision by treaty for the use of convoy 
in time of war. One of the earliest of these treaty agree- 
ments was with Sweden in 1783, a provision which is 
still in force, and is as follows: 

Art. 12. Although the vessels of the one and of the other 
party may navigate freely and with all safety, as is explained 
in the seventh article, they shall nevertheless be bound at all 
times, when required, to exhibit as well on the high sea as in port 
their passports and certificates above mentioned; and not having 



Treaty Provisions. 41 

contraband merchandise on board for an enemy's port they may 
freely and without hindrance pursue their voyage to the place 
of their destination. Nevertheless, the exhibition of papers 
shall not be demanded of merchant ships under the convoy of 
vessels of war, but credit shall be given to the word of the 
officer commanding the convoy. (Ibid., vol. 2, p. 1729.) 

Article IV of the treaty with Morocco of 1787 was 

renewed by the United States in the treaty of September 

16, 1836: ' 

Art. IV. A signal, or pass, shall be given to all vessels belong- 
ing to both parties, by which they are to be known when they 
meet at sea ; and if the commander of a ship of war of either 
party shall have other ships under his convoy, the declaration of 
the commander shall alone be sufficient to exempt any of them 
from examination. (Ibid., vol. 1, p. 1213.) 

Franco-British treaty, 1655. — A treaty between Great 
Britain and France of November 3, 1655, provided in 
Article XVI: 

All ships of war, meeting any merchant ships of either party, 
shall protect them, while they keep the same course, against all 
who shall offer them any violence. (Du Mont. Corps Diplomatique, 
Tome VI, Pt. II, p. 121.) 

Article XXVIII of the treaty between Great Britain 
and the States-General of July 31, 1667, was to the same 
effect. 

Obsolete clause of Swedish treaty. — A separate article 

of the treaty of 1783 between the United States and 

Sweden which was not renewed in 1816 and 1825, when 

other portions of that treaty were renewed, provided as 

follows : 

Art. III. If, in any future war at sea, the contracting powers 
resolve to remain neuter, and as such to observe the strictest 
neutrality, then it is agreed that if the merchant ships of either 
party should happen to be in a part of the sea where the ships 
of war of the same nation are not stationed, or if they are met 
on the high sea, without being able to have recourse to their 
own convoys, in that case the commander of the ships of war of 
the other party, if required, shall, in good faith and sincerity, 
give them all necessary assistance ; and in such case the ships of 
war and frigates of either of the powers shall protect and support 
the merchant ships of the other : Provided, nevertheless, That the 
ships claiming the assistance are not engaged in any illicit com- 
merce contrary to the principle of the neutrality. 



42 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

Treaty with Prussia. — Article 22 of the treaty of 1785 
between the United States and Prussia was practically 
identical with the similarly numbered article of the 
treaty of 1799. The treaty of 1785 expired by its own 
limitations in 1796. The treaty of 1799 expired by its 
own limitations in 1810. The provisions of article 22 
were, however, among those revived by article 12 of the 
treaty of 1828, which was to be terminated only by 
regular notification. This article 22, which had been thus 
continued since 1785, appears in the Compilation of 
Treaties in Force, 1904, as follows : 

When the contracting parties shall have a common enemy, or 
shall both be neutral, the vessels of war of each shall upon all 
occasions take under their protection the vessels of the other 
going the same course, and shall defend such vessels^ as long as 
they hold the same course, against all force and violence in the 
same manner as they ought to protect and defend vessels belong- 
ing to the party of which they are. (Treaties in Force, 1904, pp. 
641-642; Treaties and Conventions, 1776-1909, vol. 2, p. 1493.) 

Article 14 of the treaty of 1785 with Prussia was re- 
newed, with explanations in the treaty of 1799, and 
revived by the treaty of 1828. 

Art. XIV. To insure to the vessels of the two contracting 
parties the advantage of being readily and certainly known in 
time of war, it is agreed that they shall be provided with the 
sea letters and documents hereafter specified. 

1. A passport; expressing the name, the property, and the 
burthen of the vessel, as also the name and dwelling of the 
master, which passport shall be made out in good and due form, 
shall be renewed as often as the vessel shall return into port, 
and shall be exhibited whensoever required, as well in the open 
sea as in port. But if the vessel be under convoy of one or more 
vessels of war belonging to the neutral party the simple declara- 
tion of the officer commanding the convoy that the said vessel 
belongs to the party of which he is shall be considered as estab- 
lishing the fact and shall relieve both parties from the trouble 
of further examination. (Treaties in Force, p. 638; Treaties and 
Conventions, 1776-1909, vol. 2, p. 1491.) 

Treaties in time of war. — While it is often held that 
war terminates treaties between belligerents, this is evi- 
dently not the fact, as many treaties are merely sus- 
pended by the existence of war. These revive on the re- 
establishment of peace. Many conventions have been 



Treaties in Time of War. 43 

negotiated in recent years which would become opera- 
tive only in case of war between the contracting States 
and which are designed to meet such contingencies, as 
in the Hague Convention with respect to the Laws and 
Customs of War on Land- 
intended to serve as a general rule of conduct for the belligerents 
in their relations with each other and with the inhabitants. 

There are other treaties and conventions in which the 
contracting powers make agreements which shall be- 
come operative when one of the parties is neutral and 
the other a belligerent, as the Hague Convention concern- 
ing the Eights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval 
War. 

Ordinarily, however, the relations of a State, which is 
not a party to the war, to another State which is not a 
party to the war, are not changed by the existence of 
war between other States. As regards one another, they 
in general assume no new obligations or liabilities be- 
cause of war foreign to both. New obligations may of 
course be assumed by conventional agreements, treaty 
or other. 

When a State actually ceases to exist, the treaties by 
which it was bound are no longer effective. When Mada- 
gascar lost its separate entity and was absorbed by 
France in 1896, the United States and Great Britain 
readily admitted that their treaties with Madagascar 
were no longer binding. Similarly, when Hanover was 
incorporated in the Prussian Kingdom in 1866, treaties 
with Hanover were regarded as terminated. The com- 
plete extinction of a State will extinguish, so far as it 
is concerned, the treaties to which it is a party. 

Renunciation of treaty rights with Tunis. — By a 
treaty of 1797 the United States and Tunis agreed — 

Art. V. If the corsairs of Tunis shall meet at sea with ships 
of war of the United States having under their escort merchant 
vessels of their nation, they shall not be searched or molested; 
and in such case the commanders shall be believed upon their 
word to exempt their ships from being visited and to avoid 
quarantine. The American ships of war shall act in like manner 
toward merchant vessels escorted by the corsairs of Tunis. 
(Treaties and Conventions, 1776-1909, vol. 2, p. 1795.) 



44 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

By the treaty of Bardo, May 2, 1881, France assumed 
a protectorate over Tunis. It is evident that the assump- 
tion of this protectorate did not without further act ter- 
minate the treaty relations between the United States and 
Tunis. In order to provide for these relations certain 
articles were agreed upon by the United States and 
France on March 15, 1904 : 

The President of the United States of America and the Presi- 
dent of the French Republic, acting in his own name as well as 
in that of His Highness the Bey of Tunis, desiring to determine 
the relations between the United States and France in Tunis and 
desiring to define the treaty situation of the United States in 
the Regency * * * 

The Government of the United States declares that it re- 
nounces the right of invoking in Tunis the stipulations of the 
treaties made between the United States and the Bey of Tunis 
in August, 1797, and in February, 1824, and that it will refrain 
from claiming for its consuls and citizens in Tunis other rights 
and privileges than those which belong to them in virtue of in- 
ternational law or which belong to them in France by reason of 
treaties in existence between the United States and France. 
(Ibid., vol. 1, p. 544.) 

Decisions in regard to treaties. — In 1874, In re Her- 
mann Thomas (12 Blatchford, Circuit Court Reports, p. 
370), it was claimed that the extradition convention be- 
tween the United States and Bavaria " was abrogated 
by the absorption of Bavaria into the German Empire." 
The decision of the court states that — 

An examination of the provisions of the constitution of the 
German Empire does not disclose anything which indicates that 
then existing treaties between the several States composing the 
confederation called the German Empire and foreign countries 
were annulled or to be considered as abrogated. Indeed, it is 
difficult to see how such a treaty as that between Bavaria and the 
United States can be abrogated by the action of Bavaria alone, 
without the consent of the United States. Where a treaty is vio- 
lated by one of the contracting parties, it rests alone with the 
injured party to pronounce it broken, the treaty being, in such 
case, not absolutely void, but voidable at the election of the in- 
jured party, who may waive or remit the infraction committed, 
or may demand a just satisfaction, the treaty remaining obliga- 
tory if he chooses not to come to rupture. (Federal Cases, No. 
13887.) 



Supreme Court on Treaties. 45 

In the case of Terlinden v. Ames, decided in February, 
1902, Mr. Chief Justice Fuller said : 

Treaties are of different kinds and terminable in different ways. 
The fifth article of this treaty provided in substance that it should 
continue in force until 1858 and thereafter until the end of a 
12 months' notice by one of the parties of the intention to termi- 
nate it. No such notice has ever been given, and extradition has 
been frequently awarded under it during the entire intervening 
time. 

Undoubtedly other treaties may be terminated by the absorp- 
tion of powers into other nationalities and the loss of separate 
existence, as in the case of Hanover and Nassau, which became 
by conquest incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866. 
Cessation of independent existence rendered the execution of 
treaties impossible. But where sovereignty in that respect is not 
extinguished, and the power to execute remains unimpaired, out- 
standing treaties can not be regarded as avoided because of 
impossibility of performance. (184 U. S. Supreme Court Reports, 
p. 270.) 

This decision further says of the constitution of the 
German Empire: 

Article 11 read : " The King of Prussia shall be the president 
of the confederation and shall have the title of German Emperor. 
The Emperor shall represent the Empire among nations, declare 
war, and conclude peace in the name of the same; enter into 
alliances and other conventions with foreign countries; accredit 
ambassadors, and receive them. * * * So far as treaties with 
foreign countries refer to matters which, according to Article IV, 
are to be regulated by the legislature of the Empire, the consent 
of the Federal Council shall be required for their ratification, 
and the approval of the Diet shall be necessary to render them 
valid." 

It is contended that the words in the preamble translated " an 
eternal alliance " should read " an eternal union." but this is not 
material, for, admitting that the constitution created a composite 
State instead of a system of confederated States, and even that 
it was called a confederated Empire rather to save the amour 
propre of some of its component parts than otherwise, it does 
not necessarily follow that the Kingdom of Prussia lost its iden- 
tity as such, or that treaties theretofore entered into by it could 
not be performed either in the name of its King or that of the 
Emperor. We do not find in this constitution any provision which 
in itself operated to abrogate existing treaties or to affect the 
status of the Kingdom of Prussia in that regard. Nor is there 
anything in the record to indicate that outstanding treaty obliga- 



46 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

tions have been disregarded since its adoption. So far from that 
being so, those obligations have been faithfully observed. (Ibid.) 

Opinion of Attorney General. — In case of deserters 
from a public vessel of the North German Confederation 
in 1868, the Attorney General of the United States gave 
an opinion that the provisions of the treaty with Prussia 
of May 1, 1828, relating to such matters would be opera- 
tive. Mr. Evarts, the Attorney General, said : 

In regard to naval vessels of the North German Union, I am 
clearly of opinion that they are ships of war of Prussia within 
the meaning of the treaty of 1828. 

He further says : 

The relations of the States of North Germany to one another 
and to the United States have been so considerably modified by 
the confederation of 1867 that many perplexing questions of recip- 
rocal rights and obligations are likely to arise under those various 
treaties, and those questions it may be deemed the part of good 
statesmanship to avoid by new treaties adapted to the present 
condition of the North German States. (12 Opinions Attorneys 
General, p. 463.) 

Opinion of J. G. B. Davis. — Mr. Davis in his notes on 
United States treaties says : 

The establishment of the German Empire in 1871, and the 
complex relations of its component parts to each other and to 
the Empire, necessarily give rise to questions as to the treaties 
entered into with the North German Confederation and with 
many of the States composing the Empire. It can not be said 
that any fixed rules have been established. 

Where a State has lost its separate existence, as in the case 
of Hanover and Nassau, no question can arise. 

Where no new treaty has been negotiated with the Empire, 
the treaties with various States which have preserved a separate 
existence have been resorted to. (Treaties and Conventions be- 
tween the United States and Other Powers, 1776-1887, p. 1234.) 

Rule of the Declaration of London, 1909. — As a result 
of the deliberations of the International Naval Confer- 
ence at London in 1908 and with the approval of Great 
Britain, hitherto unfavorable to the doctrine of convoy, 
the following rule was adopted : 

Art. 61. Neutral vessels under the national convoy are exempt 
from search. The commander of a convoy gives, in writing, at 
the request of the commander of a belligerent ship of war, all the 



Relation of Treaty to Naval Officer. 4:1 

information as to the character of the vessels and their cargoes 
which could be obtained by visit and search. (Naval War College, 
International Law Topics, 1909, p. 139.) 

This article, like most treaty stipulations, applies to 
convoy of neutral ships by a war vessel of their own 
nationality. It might be very difficult for a commander 
of a ship of war to furnish the required information in 
regard to neutral vessels of another nationality, vessels 
over which he would have no authority. 

Relation of treaty provisions to naval officer. — As the 
naval officer is frequently brought into contact with the 
persons, property, authorities, and laws of foreign States, 
it is necessary that, so far as possible, his duties be plain. 
His conduct, if he is not to involve his State in difficulties 
with foreign States, must have respect to the treaty obli- 
gations between the States. This is evident in the " In- 
structions to blockading vessels and cruisers," General 
Order No. 92, issued by the United States on June 20, 
1898: 

Vessels of the United States, while engaged in blockading and 
cruising service, will be governed by the rules of international 
law as laid down in the decisions of the courts and in the treaties 
and manuals furnished by the Navy Department to ships' libra- 
ries and by the provisions of the treaties between the United 
States and other powers. 

Since the naval officer is bound by the treaties in force 
between the United States and other States, it is essen- 
tial that where these treaties are doubtful, or where they 
are inconsistent with the understood policy of the United 
States, every effort should be made to inform the naval 
officer of such special provisions of treaties. 

Of the treaties of the United States those with about 
20 powers contained provisions in regard to convoy and 
others contained provisions in regard to protection. 
Some of these treaties have been terminated, but many 
remain in force, as Bolivia, 1858, article 23 ; Brazil, 1828, 
article 22; Colombia, 1846, article 23; Italy, 1871, ar- 
ticle 19. 

Discussion of treaty provision with Prussia. — -Article 
XXII of the treaty between the United States and Prus- 



48 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

sia of Juty 11, 1799, as stated, binds the two States when 
they " shall have a common enemy or shall both be neu- 
tral." In either case — 

vessels of war of each shall upon all occasions take under their 
protection the vessels of the other going the same course, and 
shall defend such vessels as long as they hold the same course 
against all force and violence in the same manner as they ought 
to protect and defend vessels belonging to the party of which, 
they are. 

While it may not be necessary for a ship of war en- 
gaged in convoying certain merchant vessels of her own 
nationality to receive on the high sea other vessels of 
her own nationality to the convoy if they request such 
protection, yet there would seem to be a strong obliga- 
tion to do this if the vessels offered the same evidence of 
neutral character as afforded by those already under 
convoy. The article of the treaty with Prussia is, how- 
ever, of such form as to leave to the naval officer little 
discretion, as it does not specify convoy, but provides 
for protection of vessels going on the same course, ap- 
parently providing for falling in with such vessels at 
sea. The provision is also made very comprehensive by 
the insertion of the words " upon all occasions." The 
only limitations upon the agreement to grant this pro- 
tection are that the parties " shall have a common enemy 
or shall both be neutral," the vessels shall be " going the 
same general course," so long as the vessels "hold the 
same course," and be extended " in the same manner " as 
to the party's own vessels. In other words, this agree- 
ment binds each party to give to the vessels of the other 
when they have a common enemy or are both neutral the 
same degree of protection. 

United States Navy Regulations. — The degree of this, 
protection is indicated in the United States Navy. Regu- 
lations for 1909, which provide as to the commander in 
chief : 

Art. 333. He shall afford protection and convoy, so far as it 
is within his power, to merchant vessels of the United States and 
to those of allies. 

Art. 334. During a war between civilized nations with which 
the United States is at peace he and all his command shall 



Navy Regulations. 49 

observe the laws of neutrality and respect lawful blockade, but 
at the same time make every possible effort that is consistent 
with the rules of international law to preserve and protect the 
lives and property of citizens of the United States wherever situ- 
ated. 

From article 333, which makes it incumbent that the 
commanding officer " afford protection and convoy, so 
far as it is within his power, to merchant vessels of his 
own State," the manner of protection to be afforded to 
the German merchant vessels can be determined. 

Protection by one neutral of vessels of another. — While 
the right of a neutral warship to take vessels of her own 
nationality under convoy gradually came to be generally 
admitted, the right of one warship to take under similar 
protection vessels of other neutral States was a differ- 
ent matter. This had been claimed in the last quarter 
of the eighteenth century, and many treaties implying 
such right had been made. 

Even if the right should be admitted, the obligation 
of a war vessel of one neutral State to afford such pro- 
tection to merchant vessels of another neutral State 
would be a different question. There would seem to be, in 
such case, lack of sufficient knowledge on the part of the 
commander of the war vessel as to the neutral vessel 
requesting protection and lack of sufficient authority over 
the merchant vessel of a foreign State. 

The attitude of the United States on this matter was 
shown in the Navy Eegulations of 1876, article 11 : 

Vessels of war are not to take under their convoy the vessels 
of any power at war with another with which the United States 
is at peace, nor the vessels of a neutral unless ordered to do so 
or some very particular circumstance render it proper, of which 
they are to advise the Navy Department at the earliest oppor- 
tunity. 

The regulations of 1909, article 333, state among the 
duties of the commander in chief : 

He shall afford protection and convoy, so far as it is within 
his power, to merchant vessels of the United States and those of 
allies. 

The degree of protection which a captain of a United 
States cruiser would give to an American merchant 

8901—11 4 



50 Protection of Neutral Vessels. 

vessel would depend somewhat upon the merchant vessel 
herself. If the vessel were guilty of violation of some 
law of neutrality, the captain would not be under obliga- 
tion to protect her from the consequences. Even if the 
vessel were under his convoy, the commander of the 
cruiser of State X might make known to the American 
commander his suspicion that the merchant vessel was 
liable to capture, though the American captain, accord- 
ing to the Declaration of London, would alone be able to 
investigate such a charge. If the charge were found 
true, the merchant vessel might lose the protection of 
the convoy. In any case the captain of the American 
cruiser is free to protect or withdraw protection. If he 
protects the merchant vessel, the matter may become 
the subject of subsequent diplomatic adjustment, while, 
if he withdraws his protection without sufficient ground, 
his action may involve serious consequences to himself, 
his convoy, and his Government. 

SOLUTION. 

The captain of the United States cruiser should, in 
accord with special treaty provision and Navy Eegula- 
tions, afford to the German vessels " protection and con- 
voy, so far as it is within his power." 



Situation III. 

DESTRUCTION OF NEUTRAL VESSEL. 

(It is granted in this situation that the Declaration of 
London is binding.) 

There is war between the United States and State X. 
Great Britain is neutral. The United States fleet is sail- 
ing to make an attack upon a fortified port of State X. 
The fleet comes upon a British merchant vessel bound for 
a port of State X and equipped with wireless telegraph 
apparatus and having certain articles of contraband on 
board. The commander of the fleet does not wish to 
send the British vessel to a prize court, as such a court 
is at a great distance. He decided to destroy the vessel 
and to put the crew on board a collier which accompanies 
the fleet. The British master protests that this is in vio- 
lation of his rights. 

What are the rights in this case and what should be 
done? 

SOLUTION. 

The protest of the British master against the destruc- 
tion of his vessel is correct. 

The commander of the United States fleet may, if 
military necessity or treaty provision justifies, take or 
destroy the contraband on board the merchant vessel, and 
he may take measures to assure himself that the wireless 
apparatus will not be put to unneutral use. 

NOTES. 

Introduction. — This Naval War College has from time 
to time considered the question of destruction of private 
vessels in time of war. Prior to the adoption of any 
general international conventions relating to the treat- 
ment of vessels at sea in time of war the conclusions of 
the Naval War College have necessarily conformed as 
far as possible to the liberal policy of the past history 
of the United States. If conventions of recent years 
grant less exemption to merchant vessels than has been 
granted by earlier United States practice, if there be no 

51 



*52 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

treaties or orders to the contrary, a naval officer will be 
under obligation to act in accord with the general con- 
ventions to which the United States may be a party. 
The drift of opinion and practice and the character of 
proposed conventional agreements show considerable 
change since the matter of destruction was quite fully 
discussed at this Naval War College in 1905. 

Naval War College discussion in 1905. — Topic IV, 
proposed for discussion in 1905, was as follows : 

Should the destruction of captured vessels be allowed before 
adjudication by a prize court? If so, under what condition? 

The conclusion reached was : 

Enemy vessels. — If there are controlling reasons why enemy 
vessels may not be sent in for adjudication, as unseaworthiness, 
the existence of infectious disease, or the lack of a prize crew, 
they may be appraised and sold, and if this can not be done may 
be destroyed. The imminent danger of recapture would justify 
destruction, if there was no doubt that the vessel was good prize. 
But in all such cases all the papers and other testimony should 
be sent to the prize court in order that a decree may be duly 
entered. 

Neutral vessels. — If a seized neutral vessel can not, for any 
reason, be brought into port for adjudication, it should be dis- 
missed. (International Law Topics and Discussions, Naval War 
College, 1905, p. 62.) 

In the discussion of 1905 it was said : 

The destruction of a neutral ship must be clearly distinguished 
from the destruction of a belligerent ship even under the prin- 
ciples at present generally accepted. If the belligerent's vessel 
is good prize it may be lost to that belligerent from the time 
when his opponent captures it. This is not always necessarily 
the case, because it may be recaptured or a court for some reason 
may not condemn the vessel. " Quarter-deck courts " should be 
avoided, except in extreme instances, even in deciding on the 
destruction of enemy vessels. Such vessels may have neutral 
cargo, which may be in no way involved in the hostilities. The 
principle of the Declaration of Paris that "neutral goods, with 
the exception of contraband of war, are not liable to capture under 
enemy's flag," may be involved in such manner as to make great 
caution necessary in destroying vessels of the enemy before 
adjudication. 

Much greater care should be taken before destroying a neutral 
vessel itself. (Ibid., p. 72.) 



Naval War College Discussions. 53 

Many arguments may be urged against the destruction of 
neutral vessels. Before destruction in any case, the crew, passen- 
gers, and papers must be taken from the neutral vessel on board 
the belligerent ship. These are then immediately subject to all 
the dangers of war to which a war vessel of a belligerent is sub- 
ject. Such a position may be an undue hardship for those who 
have not been engaged in the war and one to which they should 
not be exposed. 

A belligerent vessel, with crew, passengers, and papers of the 
destroyed neutral vessel, may enter a neutral port to which 
entrance with the vessel itself would be forbidden. This is in 
effect almost an evasion of the general prohibition in regard to 
the entrance of prize, because on board the belligerent vessel is 
the evidence upon which the decision of the prize court of the 
belligerent will be rendered. It is certain that a neutral State 
would be very reluctant to admit within its territory a belligerent 
vessel having on board the crew and papers of one of its own 
private vessels which the belligerent had destroyed. The bel- 
ligerent vessel might thus obtain the supplies from the neutral 
which would enable it to carry to its prize court the evidence 
in regard to capture. 

It does not seem possible in view of precedent and practice to 
deny the right of a belligerent to destroy his enemy's vessel in 
case of necessity. Of course, if the doctrine of exemption of 
private property at sea is generally adopted this right can no 
longer be sustained. (Ibid., p. 74.) 

Discussions in 1907. — The subject of destruction of neu- 
tral merchantmen was again considered in Situation V 
of the International Law Situations of 1907. The situa- 
tion proposed in 1907 was as follows : 

War exists between the United States and State X. Neutral 
merchant vessels bound for a fortified port of State X and loaded 
for the most part with contraband are overtaken on the high 
seas by vessels of the United States Navy. 

Some of these neutral merchant vessels are unseaworthy; some 
are overtaken at points too far from a prize court to make it 
advantageous to send the vessels in; others can not be cared 
for without impeding the action of the United States naval forces, 
which are in danger of immediate attack; and in other cases 
prize crews can not be spared to take the captured neutral mer- 
chantmen to a prize court. 

What action may be taken by commanders of vessels of the 
United States Navy in such cases? 

The solution offered was : 

(a) If the contraband cargo and the seized neutral vessel 
have different owners, the contraband cargo, after proper survey, 



54 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

appraisal, and inventory, and with consent of the master, if in 
accordance with treaty provisions, may be taken, and the vessel, 
if guilty only of the carriage of contraband, should be dismissed, 
and the papers relating to the whole transaction should be for- 
warded to the prize court. 

(&) If the master does not consent, the vessel and cargo are 
liable to the usual penalties for contraband trade. 

(c) If the neutral vessel and contraband cargo belong to the 
same owner, the contraband cargo may be treated as in (a). 
The vessel, however, should, if possible, be sent to a prize court 
for adjudication, otherwise the vessel should be dismissed. 

(d) Destruction on account of military necessity of a neutral 
vessel guilty only of the carriage of contraband entities the 
owner to fullest compensation. Before destruction all persons 
and papers should be placed in safety. (International Law Situ- 
ations, Naval War College, 1907, p. 74.) 

The case of Knight Commander. — The discussion 
which followed the sinking of the British steamer Knight 
Commander by a Russian cruiser during the Russo- 
Japanese War in 1904 showed that many States had 
hardly conceived it as possible that a neutral merchant 
vessel carrying contraband could be destroyed before 
adjudication by a properly constituted prize court. The 
case of the Knight Commander is quite fully stated in 
the Situations for 1907. (Ibid., p. 84 et seq.) 

Since the issue of the Situations of 1907 further details 
of the opinion of the Russian supreme court have been 
published, not merely as justifying the condemnation as 
prize, but particularly bearing on the destruction of the 
Knight Commander: 

First of all must be remarked that the question as to the regu- 
larity of the sinking of the vessel did not pertain to the examina- 
tion of the prize court, in absolute conformity with article 58 
of the Naval Prize Regulations, but in accordance with the real 
sense of article 21 of the Naval Prize Regulations, and article 
299 of the Naval Military Criminal Statutes, it may pertain to 
the examination of the naval authorities and the criminal court, 
inasmuch as the sinking of a vessel is allowed under the per- 
sonal responsibility of the naval authorities, therefore, to judge 
whether in the present case the naval authorities sufficiently ex- 
amined the extraordinary circumstances, which decided them to 
sink the vessel or whether these circumstances were insufficient 
can only be judged by the commanding authority who ordered 
the sinking of the vessel and not the prize court. 



Knight Commander Case. 55 

Besides this, in conformity with the same article 21 of the 
Naval Prize Regulations and clause 40 of the instructions rela- 
tive to the manner in which the capture of vessels is to be 
effected based on article 26 of the prize regulations confirmed 
by the council of the admiralty, the fear that the vessel may fall 
into the hands of the enemy and the distance of a home port 
to which such vessels may be brought are conditions which justify 
the sinking of a vessel. The presence of these conditions in the 
sinking Knight Commander were duly established by an act on 
July 11, 1904 ; the question raised in the appeals that the sinking 
of neutral vessels is illegal is rejected in conformity with 
articles 11 and 21, which together clearly explain the irregularity 
of this point; in conformity with article 11 trading vessels of 
neutral nationality may be subject to capture; in accordance 
with the same article 21 all captured vessels may be sunk in 
extraordinary cases; thus, according to Russian law in force, 
the Russian prize court alone can properly decide this question, 
and the objections raised in the appeal are negative. 

We can not, however, agree with the declaration made by the 
shipowners' attorney that the Russian law, in allowing " neutral 
vessels " to be sunk, is contrary to the principles of international 
law, if even in a double sense a " neutral vessel " is such as is 
neutral only through its nationality, although nowise neutral in 
its acts. In support of his position, the attorney cites a whole 
lot of passages from authors who declare themselves against the 
legality destroying vessels of neutral nationality. But the views 
taken by authors or learned men, although very authoritative, do 
not make it an obligatory rule of international law. It is well 
to adhere to such opinions, but one is not obliged to accept their 
execution. 

Not citing the opposite view, it is not found unnecessary to 
draw attention to an article by Prof. Holland (Revue de droit 
international, 1905, no. 3) which exxpresses a doubt whether the 
sinking of a vessel of neutral nationality should be considered a 
violation of the principles of international law, especially in view 
of the circumstances that not only Russian law, but also the laws 
of France, the United States, and Japan admit the sinking of 
neutral prizes. 

But not stopping within the limits of various authorities it is 
necessary to examine the questions from the very root. All agree 
that the principle of international law relative to maritime prizes 
should be based upon established compromises between the in- 
terests of the belligerents on the one side and neutrals on the 
second part — compromises which should guarantee the rights of 
all. From this point of view the destruction of a captured vessel 
of neutral nationality should not be admitted excepting in case 
of absolute necessity to the interests of the hostile parties. These 



56 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

cases may, of course, occur much more seldom for the powers 
which luckily possess ports everywhere than for those which are 
in less favorable conditions, notwithstanding the most gross 
violation of neutrality by them, and would likewise in some con- 
ditions entirely prevent the belligerents from putting obstacles 
in the way of ammunition being brought to the enemy, which it 
is evident would be irregular and on the part of the other bellig- 
erent party who would be in more favorable conditions, it would 
be an injustice. 

In point of view of international law, based upon the above, said 
compromise between the belligerents and neutrals does not even 
present itself as very comprehensible, wherefore several writers 
declare the admittance of the sinking of neutral vessels on which 
the cargo belongs to neutral owners and even the refusal of com- 
pensation for this cargo ; but do not admit the sinking of the ves- 
sels of neutral owners which carry contraband of war in destina- 
tion of the enemy's or for an enterprise carried out by the enemy, 
while in principle the center of weight of the question leads to 
the point that the legal interests of the owners should not suffer 
if it should occur in the interest of the belligerents that the vessel 
should have to be destroyed. But, in the existing Naval Prize 
Regulations of Russia, the most stringent defend the legal in- 
terests of the owners; these interests can scarcely suffer, inas- 
much as if the captured cargo was to be confiscated in favor of 
the Crown, by destroying it, it is not the owners who suffer, but 
the Crown, which not only is deprived of the possibility of using 
the cargo, the Crown besides this having to pay compensation if, 
on the contrary, the prize destroyed turns out that it must be 
returned to the owners. (Arts. 28-30 and 32.) Regarding in 
part the objections made by the attorney of the shipowner that 
in allowing a naval authority to destroy a vessel amounts to 
giving him the right to decide the case in the place of a prize 
court — this objection presents itself more or less as a misunder- 
standing, as, according to the regulations relative to prizes, the 
instructions to naval authorities relating to the destruction of 
vessels has but the character of a practical measure called for in 
cases of necessity; but does not in any way lessen the instructions 
to prize courts relative to the right of the destruction of property. 
On the contrary, articles 21 and 74 stipulate that the case should 
be referred to a prize court for confirmation or liberation. But 
once the prize court has decided its compensation, the right of 
capture must, of course, be considered as belonging to the Crown 
from the time of its capture, and not from the time it was recog- 
nized as liable to confiscation, just the same as an inheritance be- 
longs to the heirs from the time of the opening of the inheritance 
and not from the time the court probated it. In fact, the problem 
of prize courts consists in that they must recognize the prize — 
that is to say, if the capture was lawful or illegal; or, in other 



Prof. Holland on Destruction. 57 

words, to confirm the rights of capture or to refuse to confirm it. 
In general, prize courts do not create rights, but only confirm 
them. (Foreign Relations, U. S., 1906, Part II, p. 1328, pub- 
lished 1909.) 

The Supreme Court at St. Petersburg decided: 

1. To maintain the decision of the Vladivostok prize court and 
to leave the appeal made by Attorney Bajenoff, in behalf of the 
owner of the steamer Knight Commander, without consideration. 

2. To leave the petitions of the attorneys, Sheftel and Berline, 
in behalf of the cargo owners of goods noncontraband of war, 
and for compensation for losses, with examination. (Ibid., p. 
1331.) 

Opinion of Prof. Holland. — The Russian court refers 
to the opinion of Prof. Holland. The British Admiralty 
Manual of Prize Law (sec. 303) directs that a vessel 
should be released unless there is clear proof that she be- 
longs to the enemy. Prof. Holland, who prepared this 
manual, said in 1905 that these are the lenient British 
instructions in which there is not necessarily " any im- 
plication that instructions of a severer kind would have 
been inconsistent with international law." 

Prof. Holland also says in 1905 that his opinion may 
be summarized as follows : 

1. There is no established rule of international law which ab- 
solutely forbids, under any circumstances, the sinking of a neu- 
tral prize. A consensus gentium to this effect will hardly be 
alleged by those who are aware that such sinking is permitted 
by the most recent prize regulations of France, Russia, Japan, 
and the United States. 

2. It is much to be desired that the practice should be, by 
future international agreement, absolutely forbidden — that the 
lenity of British practice in this respect should become inter- 
nationally obligatory. 

3. In the meantime, to adopt the language of the French in- 
structions, " On ne doit user de ce droit de destruction qu'avec 
la plus grande reserve " ; and it may well be that any given set 
of instructions (e. g., the Russian) leaves on this point so large 
a discretion to commanders of cruisers as to constitute an in- 
tolerable grievance. 

4. In any case, the owner of neutral property, not proved to be 
good prize, is entitled to the fullest compensation for his loss. 
In the language of Lord Stowell : 

" The destruction of the property may have been a meritorious 
act toward his own Government ; but still the person to whom 



58 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

the property belongs must not be a sufferer * * * if the 
captor has by the act of destruction conferred a benefit upon the 
public, he must look to his own Government for his indemnity." 
(Letters on War and Neutrality, p. 148.) 

English court decisions. — Dr. Lushington in 1855 said : 

I must again refer to the Actaeon. The act of destruction of 
the ship by Capt. Capel was in itself illegal, even if the vessel 
was liable to condemnation; it could only be justified on the 
grounds of public policy, and for illegal acts done for such a 
reason responsibility must attach. (The Leucade, Spinks, Prize 
Cases, 217.) 

In the case of the Actaeon, in 1815, Sir W. Scott had 

said : 

Lastly, it has been said that Capt. Capel could not spare men 
from his own ship to carry the captured vessel to a British port, 
and that he could not suffer her to go into Boston, because she 
would have furnished important information to the Americans. 
These are circumstances which may have afforded very good 
reasons for destroying this vessel, and may have made it a very 
meritorious act in Capt. Capel as far as his own Government is 
concerned, but they furnish no reason why the American owner 
should be a sufferer. (The Actaeon, 2 Dodson, Admiralty Re- 
ports, p. 74.) 

Dr. Lushington, who prepared an earlier edition of the 
British Manual of Naval Prize Law also said in the case 
of the Leucade: 

The destruction of a vessel under hostile colors is a matter of 
duty ; the court may condemn on proof which would be inad- 
missible or wholly irregular in the instance of a neutral vessel. 
It may be justifiable or even praiseworthy in the captors to 
destroy an enemy's vessel. Indeed, the bringing in to adjudica- 
tion at all of an enemy's vessel is not called for by any respect 
to the right of the enemy proprietor, where there is no neutral 
property on board. But for totally different considerations, 
which I need not now enter upon, where a vessel under neutral 
colors is detained, she has the right to be brought to adjudica- 
tion, according to the regular course of proceeding in the prize 
court; and it is the very first duty of the captor to bring it in, 
if it be practicable. 

From the performance of this duty the captor can be exonerated 
only by showing that he was a bona fide possessor and that it was 
impossible for him to discharge it. No excuse for him as to in- 
convenience or difficulty can be admitted as between captors and 
claimants. If the ship be lost, that fact alone is no answer; 



English Court Decisions. 59 

the captor must show u valid cause for the detention as well as 
the loss. 

If the ship be destroyed for reasons of policy alone, and to 
maintain a blockade or otherwise, the claimant is entitled to 
costs and damages. The general rule, therefore, is that if a 
ship under neutral colors be not brought to a competent court 
for adjudication the claimants are, as against the captor, en- 
titled to costs and damages. Indeed, if the captor doubt his 
power to bring a neutral vessel for adjudication, it is his duty, 
under ordinary circumstances to release her. (The Leucade, 
(1885), Spinks, Prize Cases, p. 217.) 

This case is frequently cited by those maintaining that 
British law demands the release of neutral prize if it can 
not be taken into port. 

It is evident from this decision that the destruction of 
neutral ships as a matter of policy was not sanctioned 
and that for destruction cost and damages must be paid 
and under ordinary circumstances the ship should be re- 
leased. From the point of view of the officer of a bel- 
ligerent who is engaged in important naval operations 
the release of a neutral vessel might be a grave danger, 
and at the same time the destruction might involve the 
necessity of payment of damages. In the case of the 
Felicity, in 1819, Lord Stowell said of neutral property : 

Where it is neutral the act of destruction can not be justified 
to the neutral owner by the gravest importance of such an act to 
the public service of the captor's own State; to the neutral it 
can only be justified, under any circumstances, by a full restitu- 
tion in value. These are rules so clear in principle and estab- 
lished in practice that they require neither reasoning nor pre- 
cedent to illustrate or support them. (2 Dodson, Admiralty 
Reports, p. 381.) 

What might be a military reason for destruction would 
not concern the neutral owner, but would be purely a mat- 
ter for the belligerent commander to settle with his 
superiors. The neutral Avho is not taking part in the 
war is to be fully recompensed and is entitled to damages. 
The policy of Great Britain as announced at the time 
of the Eusso-Japanese War in 1904-5 and in the in- 
structions of her delegates to the Second Hague Peace 
Conference in 1907 and the International Naval Confer- 
ence in 1908 was against destruction of neutral vessels. 



60 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

British opinion. — The memoranda submitted by the 
powers show that the larger number of the powers ac- 
knowledged the right to destroy captured vessels under 
certain conditions. Russia had destroyed neutral vessels 
during the Russo-Japanese War, and the Japanese regu- 
lations of 1904 had not forbidden such destruction. 

While much has been said in regard to the matter in 
Great Britain some of the comment is certainly based 
upon a failure to understand the British practice. The 
British Manual of Naval Prize Law of 1888, edited by 
Prof. Holland, does say in article 303 that — 

If the commander is unable to spare a prize crew to navigate 
the vessel to a port of adjudication the commander should release 
the vessel and cargo without ransom, unless there is clear proof 
that she belongs to the enemy. (Int. Law Topics, 1905, p. 64.) 

Of this subject Prof. Holland, writing in 1905, said: 

While it is, on principle, most undesirable that neutral property 
should be exposed to destruction without inquiry, cases may 
occasionally occur in which a belligerent could hardly be ex- 
pected to permit the escape of such property, though he is unable 
to send it in for adjudication. The contrary opinion is, I venture 
to think, largely derived from a reliance upon detached paragraphs 
in one of Lord Stowell's judgments on the subject — judgments 
which, taken together, show little more than that, in his view, 
no plea of national interest will bar the claim of a neutral owner 
to be fully compensated for the value of his property when it has 
been destroyed without judicial proof of its noxious character. 
" Where doubtful whether enemy's property, and impossible to 
bring in, the safe and proper course," says Lord Stowell, " is to 
dismiss." The Admiralty Manual of 1888 accordingly directs 
commanders who are unable to send in their prizes to " release 
the vessel and cargo without ransom, unless there is clear proof 
that she belongs to the enemy." This indulgence can hardly, 
however, be proclaimed as an established rule of international 
law, in the face of the fact that the sinking of neutral prizes 
is under certain circumstances permitted by the prize codes, not 
only of Russia, but also of such powers as France, the United 
States, and Japan (1904). (83 Fortnightly Review, p. 802.) 

Question of destruction at The Hague Conference of 
1907. — The International Law Situations of 1907 of this 
Naval War College (Situation V, pp. 74—108) give an 
extended review of opinions, regulations, practice, etc., 
in regard to the destruction of neutral merchant vessels 



Question at the Hague, 1907. 61 

before 1907. The Russian program for the Hague Con- 
ference of 1907 raised the question of " destruction, in 
cases of vis major of neutral merchant vessels detained 
as prize." The question proposed for discussion took the 
following form : 

XI. Est-ce que la destruction des navires de commerce, sous 
pavilion neutre, charges en temps de guerre du transport de 
troupes ou de contrebande de guerre, est defendue par les legisla- 
tions ou par la pratique internationale ? 

XII. Est-ce que la destruction, pour force majeure, de toutes 
prises neutres est illicite d'apres les legislations actuellement en 
vigueur et d'apres la pratique des guerres na vales? " (3 La 
Deuxieme Conference Internationale de la Paix, p. 1134.) 

The following propositions were presented to the 
Hague Conference in 1907 : 
Great Britain : 

La destruction d'une prise neutre par le capteur est interdite. 
La capteur doit relacher tout navire neutre qu'il ne peut pas 
amener devant nn tribunal de prises. (Ibid., p. 1170.) 

Russia : 

Estimant que l'interdiction absolue de la destruction des prises 
neutres par les belligerants aurait pour consequence d'etablir 
une situation d'inferiorite marquante pour les puissances n'ayant 
pas de bases maritimes hors des cOtes le da metropole et etant 
d'avis que tout accord international doit etre fonde sur le principe 
de reciprocity et d'opportunite egale. 

La Delegation Imperiale de Russie soumet & la consideration 
de la 4 eme Commission le projet suivant d'une disposition se 
rapportant a la destruction des prises, disposition qui lui paralt 
tenir compte de tous les interets en jeu : 

La destruction d'une prise neutre est interdite a l'exception des 
cas ou. sa conservation pourrait compromettre la securite du 
navire capteur ou le success de ses operations. Le commandant du 
navire capteur ne peut user du droit de destruction qu'avec la 
plus grande reserve et doit avoir soin de transborder prealable- 
ment les hommes et, autant que faire se pourra, le chargement et 
en tous cas, de conserver tous les papiers de bord et autres ele- 
ments necessaires pour permettre le jugement de la prise ainsi 
que, le cas echeant, l'establissement des indemnites a attribuer 
aux neutres. 

II est bien entendu qu'en cas de saisie ou destruction des 
prises neutres reconnues illegales par la Cour des Prises ou par 
les autorites competentes, les interesses ont le droit a, une action 
en dommages-interets. (Ibid., p. 1170.) 



62 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

Japan : 

Amendement aux Propositions Britannique (Annexe 39) et 
Russe (Annexe 40) stjr la Destruction de Vaisseatjx 
Neutres. 

La descruction d'une prise neutre par le capteur est interdite. 
Le capteur doit relaeher tout navire neutre qu'il ne peut pas 
amener devant un tribunal des prises. 

Toutefois, il est fait exception a la rggle ci-dessus dans les cas 
suivants : 

(a) Si le vaisseau est au service militaire ou naval de l'ennemi, 
ou sous son contrSle pour des buts militaires ou navals. 

(6) Si le vaisseau r£siste par la force a la visite ou a la 
capture. 

(c) Si le vaisseau tente d'echapper a la visite ou a la capture 
par la fuite. (Ibid., p. 1171.) 

United States: 

Si pour une raison quelconque un navire neutre capture ne 
peut §tre amene pour l'ad judication, ce navire devra etre relachi?. 
(Ibid., p. 1171.) 

The British and Eussian propositions were sustained at 
length by the representatives of those States. 

The Eussian delegate, Col. Ovtchinnikow, of the ad- 
miralty, presented the Eussian view, which is important 
as showing the position of Eussia after the events of the 
Eusso- Japanese War: 

(1) Tout d'abord je veux attirer l'attention de la haute As- 
sembled sur le langage confus employe dans la question, et qui 
peut faire naitre quelquefois des malentendus. 

Dans toutes les propositions, et meme dans la nQtre, on se sert 
des expressions comme " la destruction d'une prise neutre,' 1 '' " un 
navire neutre capture," etc. 

II ne s'agit en realite pas de " navires neutres," mais de navires 
de la nationality neutre, qui ont commis des infractions k leur 
neutrality. 

II n'y a de raison ni pour saisir, ni d'autant plus pour detruire, 
un navire de la nationality neutre qui est reellement neutre. Mais 
un navire sous pavilion neutre, qui a viole sa neutrality par un 
acte hostile, ne peut €tre traite comme un navire neutre. 

C'est dans le sens que je viens d'indiquer qu'il faut comprendre 
la proposition russe concernant la destruction d'une prise neutre. 

(2) En discutant cette question il faut avoir en vue les con- 
siderations suivantes: 



Russian Opinion, 1907. 63 



Au point de vue juridique il existe souvent quelque malentendu 
au sujet du role veritable du fait de la capture et du jugement 
du tribunal de prises. 

Quel est le role d'une decision d'un tribunal de prises, et a 
partir de quel moment l'Etat capteur obtient-il le droit de pro- 
pri§te sur le navire et la cargaison saisis? 

Je reponds a cette question tout a fait categoriquement. C'est 
la saisie ou capture meme qui donne a l'Etat capteur la pro- 
priety du navire et de la cargaison saisis. Une decision judiciaire 
ne cree jamais le nouveau droit, elle ne fait que reconnaitre ce- 
lui qui existait dej& avant. Le tribunal de prises statue si la 
prise est bonne ou non ; c'est-a-dire, en appreciant les conditions 
de la saisie, le temps et le lieu.ou la saisie a et6 effectueo, le 
caraetere du batiment capteur et celui du batiment et de la car- 
gaison captures, le tribunal de prises prononce son jugement 
sur la question si le navire et la cargaison ont 6te susceptibles 
de confiscation dans le moment ou la saisie a 6te effectueo. 

D£s lors, la decision d'un tribunal de prises a toujours une 
portee retroactive, et, si la prise reellement est bonne, le droit 
de propriete existe pour l'Etat capteur a partir du moment de 
la saisie. 

Ce fait etant etabli, nous pouvons maintenant constater, qu'en 
detruisant le navire, qui navigue sous pavilion neutre, mais qui 
evidemment viole sa neutrality, le capteur detruit ses propres 
biens mais pas le bien d'autrui. C'est ainsi qu'il agit contre les 
interets de sa propre fortune, et voil& pourquoi seuls des cas 
tout a fait extraordinaires peuvent le forcer k se comporter de 
cette facon. 

(3) Pour finir avec le cote juridique et pecuniaire de la matiere, 
je veux presenter quelques observations supplementaires : 

(a) II est bien entendu que chaque cas de destruction d'une 
prise doit etre apporte a\ l'examen d'un tribunal de prises qui 
declarera si la capture a 6te bonne ou non. 

(&) Sur un batiment detruit, outre les objets qui sont sus- 
ceptibles de confiscation & titre de contrebande de guerre 
peuvent se trouver d'autres qui auraient pu §tre affranchis par 
le tribunal de prises, s'ils avaient ete amends devant ce dernier 
et restitues de cette fagon au proprietaire primitif. 

La question se pose: Comment dolvent etre garantis les in- 
ter§ts de ces proprietaires dans le cas de la destruction sur un 
batiment detruit de leurs objets ne constituant pas de contre- 
bande? 

La reponse sur cette question se trouve dans les articles 29 
et 30 du reglement russe du 27 mars 1895 concernant les prises 
maritimes. Ce reglement porte : 

Art. 29 : " Si le cbargement qui doit etre restitue a ete 
detruit par ordre de l'autorite, le proprietaire recuperera la 



64 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

valeur du chargement detruit d'apr£s une estimation basee sur 
les renseignements fournis." 

Art. 30 : " Independamment de cette valeur, une indemnite 
speciale pour dommage, resultant de la capture, peut etre allouee 
au proprietaire primitii' s'il est reconnu que le chargement a 
6te capture sans motifs suffisants ou en violation des conditions 
prescrites.' 

(c) En vertu de notre loi, le m§me principe d'indemnisation 
est applicable dans le cas ou, selon le jugement d'un tribunal de 
prises, le batiment lui-meme a ete detruit incorrectement, c'est-a- 
dire lorsque ce batiment, dans le moment de la saisie, n'&tait 
pas susceptible de confiscation. 

J'ai l'honneur d'attirer l'attention de la Commission sur les 
articles cites 29 et 30 du reglement russe, comme pouvant servir 
de materiaux pour les travaux du Comite d'Examen. 

(4) II y a encore une question qui peut soulever quelques 
doutes. (Test la question du sort de l'equipage et des passagers 
qui se trouvaient sur un batiment detruit. 

Dans notre proposition (Annexe 40) il est clairement dit que 
" le commandant du navire capteur ne peut user du droit de de- 
struction qu'avec la plus grande reserve et doit avoir soin de 
transborder prealablement les bommes." 

On pourrait peut-etre objecter a ce sujet, que l'equipage et les 
passagers transferee sur le navire capteur, c'est-a-dire sur un 
batiment de guerre, seront ici moins en security contre les dan- 
gers de guerre que s'ils etaient sur leur propre navire. 

Mais je reponds a cette objection qu'une pareille aggravation du 
sort de l'equipage a lieu, non par la faute du capteur, mais par 
celle de l'armateur ou capitaine, qui ont viole la neutrality d'un 
navire de commerce de nationalite neutre. 

En tout cas, on peut constater que, pendant les derniSres 
guerres, dans des cas de destruction des prises de nationalite 
neutre, la question du sort de l'equipage et les passagers n'a 
jamais provoque de difficultes. 

Voila les considerations d'ordre juridique qui prouvent que la 
destruction est, le cas echeant, non seulement admissible, mais 
licite. 

(5) De plus, on peut invoquer dans cette matiere des con- 
siderations pur em en t pratiques et militaires. 

Comme je viens de le constater, il est tou jours bien preferable 
de conserver le batiment saisi et de le conduire dans un port de 
son pays. 

Mais dans la guerre sur mer, il est souvent impossible de 
conserver ce batiment et de le conduire dans un lieu sur, a plus 
forte raison de le relacher. 

Supposons par exemple, qu*a proximite du lieu de la capture 
se trouve un ennemi qui est beancoup plus fort que le capteur, 



Russian Opinion, 1907. 65 

le batiinent saisi navigue sous pavilion neutre et est entiereinent 
charge d'objets de contrebande de guerre couime de cartouches, 
de projectiles, de poudres et d'explosifs de toute nature. Cer- 
taineinent pour le capteur ce serait beaucoup plus profitable de 
conserver ce batiment et ces objets de contrebande de guerre 
pour ses propres besoins. Mais le conservation et la conduite de 
cette prise sont impossibles a raison du voisinage d'un ennemi 
puissant. 

Est-ce qu'on peut insister dans ce cas sur le relachement du bati- 
ment saisi? Je crois qu'il est evident qu'un pareil relachement 
serait pour le capteur une vraie trahison envers sa patrie. II ne 
lui reste qu'a detruire cette prise. 

D'autre part, la prise peut etre quelquefois accidentelle. Un 
batiment de guerre, ayant un but special, rencontre en mer un 
uavire entiereinent charge de contrebande de guerre, et fait la 
prise, pour ainsi dire, en passant. 

A raison de ce que les ports du capteur sont trop eloignes ou 
bloques, la conservation et la conduite de cette- prise pourraient 
compromettre la securite du batiment capteur ou le succes de ses 
operations. II faut se demander comment doit agir dans ce cas 
le capteur? 

Certainement cette question s'el§ve dans toute sa gravite seule- 
ment pour les Puissances qui n'ont pas un certain nombre de ports 
dans les mers eloignees. L'interdiction absolue de la destruction 
des prises etablirait une situation d'inferiorite marquee pour les 
Puissances n'ayant pas des colonies, vis-a-vis de celles qui en 
possedent. 

Les tendances, qui ont ete exprimees dans certaines propositions, 
dont la Conference a ete saisie, concernant l'admission de prises 
dans les ports neutres, sembleraient meme propres a\ aggraver 
cette inferiorite. 

Ainsi, dans l'exemple que je viens d'indiquer, il est souvent 
facile pour le capteur de changer de cours et de conduire la prise 
dans un port de son pays qui est en voisinage. Si le capteur se 
depeche, il peut envoyer sa prise dans ce port non eloigne sous le 
commandement d'un officier du bord. 

On pourrait agir de meme, et conduire ou envoyer la prise dans 
un port neutre, si l'acces et le sejour, assez prolonge pour les 
prises dans ces ports neutres, etait admis par le droit conven- 
tionnel. 

Mais, en absence d'un pareil accord international, et en presence 
des regies prohibant aux prises l'entree et le sejour assez prolonge" 
dans les ports neutres, — pour le capteur se trouvant dans les 
conditions que je viens d'indiquer, il ne reste qu'un choix : c'est 
de detruire le batiment saisi. 

Voici les arguments d'ordro juridique, pratique et militaire, que 
j'ai l'honueur de presenter pour appuyer la proposition (Annexe 
8901—1 1 5 



66 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

40) de- la Delegation de Russie concernant la destruction des 
prises saisies, naviguant sous pavilion neutre, rnais violant leur 
neutrality. 

Je crois qu'il est evident que l'interdiction absolue de cette 
destruction est inadmissible, c'est-a-dire que cette destruction est 
licite. aux conditions indiquees dans la proposition sus-men- 
tionnee, (Ibid., p. 898.)' 

The position of Great Britain was sustained by Sir 
Ernest Satow : 

La theorie, selon laquelle le belligerant a le droit de couler bas 
une prise neutre, a ete avancee, si je ne me trompe, pour la pre- 
miere fois, au cours de la recente guerre en Extreme-Orient. A 
1'envisager d'un point de vue general, il semble que c'est \k un 
principe bien etrange et que, l'Etat belligerant et l'Etat neutre 
etant en paix l'un avec l'autre, la destruction d'un navire d'une 
Puissance amie constitue, de la part du belligerant, un acte 
d'aggression qu'il lui incombe de justifier. On peut nous objecter 
que ce raisonnement est egalement applicable au cas d'un navire 
neutre saisi et amene devant un tribunal de prises. Je suis le 
premier a admettre la force de ce raisonnement, mais il ne faut 
pas oublier que les puissances belligerantes exercent depuis tres 
longtemps le droit de saisie et les droits judiciaires qui en de- 
coulent sans que les neutres s'y soient opposes, et que cette 
pratique, qui a premiere vue peut paraitre illicite, a acquis de 
par ce fait un caractere de legalite que Ton ne saurait lui con- 
tester. Pouvons-nous dire que le cas est le meme lorsqu'il s'agit 
du pretend u droit de couler la prise neutre? Je ne le crois pas. 
On ne peut citer, autant que je saclie, aucune occasion ou un 
Etat neutre ait reconnu, comme etant de bonne guerre, la des- 
truction d'un de ses navires avant qu'un tribunal de prises ne 
l'eut condamne. II semble done qu'& moins de pouvoir demontrer 
1'existence d'une s6rie de precedents a l'appui de ce pretendu droit 
ou moins d'un consentement dans le passe k l'exercice de ce droit 
de la part des neutres equivalent a une reconnaissance expresse 
de la legitimite de l'acte, on ne saurait maintenir que le droit 
international permet actuellement la destruction d'une prise 
neutre. II existe peut-etre des raisons pour ajouter a l'avenir 
aux droits que possede un belligerant celui de couler les prises 
neutres a la condition qu'il n'en soit pas fait un usage deraisonna- 
ble; ainsi Ton pourrait invoquer des considerations d'un ordre 
militaire, les necessites du moment, le manque de ports et de 
depots de houille, la grandeur du theatre de la guerre et l'etendue 
du mouvement commercial pour prouver que le besoin d'un change 
ment s'impose; mais il n'est pas possible de soutenir que 1'exis- 
tence du droit que Ton cherche a etablir a ete reconnu dans le 



British Opinion, 1907. 67 

passe. Un de nos plus eminents professeurs de droit international 
en xingleterre a meme soutenu que les textes des jurisprudences 
de certains pays impliquaient l'existence de ce droit, mais une 
etude de ces textes nous a permis de constater qu'il avait fait 
erreur et que ceux-ci, quoique ne mentionnant les prises qu'en 
termes genera ux et n'excluant pas expressement les prises neutres, 
visaient surtout les prises ennemies, an sujet desquelles il ne 
saurait y avoir aucun doute, puisque le droit de les couler dans 
certains cas a ete reconnu depuis longtemps aux belligerants. 
Mais, meme si l'intention du legislateur clans ces pays avait ete 
de conceder ce droit par rapport aux prises neutres, le fait n'aurait 
eu aucune valeur au point de vue international, puisqu'un Etat 
ne peut pas introduire des elements nouveaux dans le droit in- 
ternational sans le concours des autres Etats et c'est precisement 
ce concours qui manque dans l'espece. (Ibid., p. 907.) 

The British delegate also maintains that it is evident 
that the principle of release of a neutral vessel which 
can not be sent to a prize court is generally accepted, and 

says : 

L'adoption d'un nouveau principe donnant aux belligerants le 
droit de couler bas les prises neutres coiiduirait fatalement a 
des abus et exposerait tout navire neutre a etre coule chaque fois 
qu'il rencontrerait un navire de guerre belligerant, dont le capi- 
taine ne manquerait pas d'user de son droit comme bon lui sem- 
blerait, nonobstant les ordres qu'il pourrait avoir recus de n'agir 
qu'avec circonspection. Le navire neutre se trouverait done 
dans le meme cas que le navire ennemi, et sa situation serait 
meme pire, puisque son gouvernement n'aurait aucun moyen de 
redresser le tort commis, a moins de declarer lui-meme la guerre 
au belligerant capteur. 

Le Gouvernement britannique est done d'avis que l'usage etabli 
ne permet pas la destruction de la prise neutre et il pense qu'il 
n'est pas du tout desirable de modifier en quoi que ce soit cet etat 
des choses. (Ibid., p.' 903.) 

Count Tornielli, of Italy, thought that difficulties which 
had arisen upon the question of destruction might be 
reconciled by the introduction of the right of sequestra- 
tion in a neutral port pending adjudication by a prize 
court. (Ibid., p. 903.) 

Dr. Kriege, the German delegate, said : 

La Delegation allemande partage entiSrement la manierc de 
voir de la Delegation russe en ce qui regarde la destruction des 
navires neutres. Elle est d'avis que la destruction est permise 



68 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

par le droit international actuel, qu'elle est indispensable au point 
de vue militaire et qu'elle ne comporte pas de rigueurs excessive^ 
& l'encontre du proprietaire du navire. * * * II me sera pennis, 
enfin, de dire quelques mots sur les apprehensions des proprig- 
taires des navires neutres coules. II n'y a que deux cas possi- 
bles : la capture du navire est justifiee ou elle ne Test pas. Dans 
la premiere hypothese, la juridiction des prises devra confirmer 
la prise, le proprietaire perdra son navire qu'il soit amene dans- 
le port ou qu'il soit detruit. Le proprietaire ne serait done pas 
fond& a se plaindre de la destruction. Dans le second cas, il n'y 
a aucun doute que l'Etat capteur doit repondre des actes du 
croiseur et dedommager le proprietaire de la perte qui en est 
resultee. Si la prise a ete detruite, il sera done tenu de lui payer 
la valeur entiere du batiment et de sa cargaison. Le tribunal des 
prises en prononcant la non-validite de 3a capture sera appele a 
fixer le montant de cette indemnite. Si nous parvenons, comme 
nous pouvons esperer, a etablir une jurisdiction des prises inter- 
nationales, les interets du proprietaire du navire et des marchan- 
dises, detruits a tort, seraient desormais entierement sailvegard^s. 
Ce sonL les raisons, Messieurs, qui nous contfuisent a appuyer 
la proposition russe. (Ibid., pp. 992, 993.) 

The subsequent discussion of the subject of destruction 
of neutral merchant vessels became closely joined with 
the discussion of the proposition to permit sequestration 
of vessels which had been seized and had not yet been 
adjudicated upon by a prize court. 

The General Report of the Fourth Commission which 
had the question of destruction of neutral prizes under 
consideration stated that the commission had not been 
able to reach an agreement, saying: 

Tel est le resultat de ces deliberations, qu'on peut resumer, 
semble-t-il, comme il suit : Le libre acc§s des ports neutres pour 
les prises des belligerants est l'objet d'une faible majorite — 
1'interdiction de detruire, plus ou moins subordonnee par la plu- 
part a ce libre acc§s, est l'objet d'une majorite un peu plus 
marquee — enfin, en toute hypothese, le droit de detruire est 
l'objet lui-meme d'une faible majorite et de nombreuses absten- 
, tions et dans ces conditions il a semble qu'une entente etait 
actuellement difficile. (Ibid., p. 264.) 

The United States and other powers have reserved 
their assent to article 23 of the Convention concerning the 
Eights and Duties of Neutral Powers in case of Maritime 
War, which allows sequestration of prizes in neutral ports 
pending adjudication which would have had more justi- 



Question at Naval Conference, 1908-9. 69 

fication had the destruction of neutral prizes been pro- 
hibited. The question of destruction of neutral prize 
would become an important one in case of the establish- 
ment of the proposed international prize court. This 
therefore became an important topic in the program of 
the International Naval Conference of 1908-9. 

Question of destruction of prize at International Naval 
Conference. — In the call issued by Great Britain for the 
International Naval Conference in 1908 the fourth topic 
on the program for discussion was, " The legality of the 
destruction of neutral vessels prior to their condemna- 
tion by a prize court." The British Government gave 
to its delegates to this conference more extended instruc- 
tions upon this topic than upon any other except contra- 
band. As the British position represented one of the 
extreme views, the instructions may be given at length: 

27. It is recognized by the universally acknowledged principles 
of international law that all prizes ought, if possible, to be 
brought into a prize court, and ought not, generally speaking, to 
be destroyed or otherwise dealt with prior to condemnation. It 
is, however, generally admitted that in cases in which the captor 
finds himself unable, without compromising his own safety or 
affecting the success of the military operation on which he is en- 
gaged, or owing to his distance from any home port, to bring an 
enemy merchant vessel in, he may destroy her after removing 
the passengers, crew, and papers, and that if it be established 
that she is in fact an enemy vessel, such destruction involves the 
captor in no liability. Even in such cases, His Majesty's Govern- 
ment have some doubt whether there is a right to destroy neutral 
cargoes on board without compensation, a doubt which the terms 
■of the Declaration of Paris, under which neutral goods in enemy 
ships not being contraband are not liable to seizure, tend to con- 
firm. Primarily, an enemy ship should be brought in, and if she 
is, before adjudication, destroyed for the convenience of the 
captor the neutral owner of cargo should not suffer thereby. 

28. Some of the powers do not consider this right of destruction 
in special circumstances to be limited to enemy ships, but seek 
to extend it to neutral merchant vessels suspected to be carriers 
of contraband of war. They declare that although it is contrary 
to principle to destroy a neutral merchant vessel instead of 
bringing her in, such a course may nevertheless be justifiable in 
exceptional cases, where she can not so be brought in without 
danger to the captor or without substantial interference with the 
success of his military operations; and it has been contended both 



70 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

by writers on international law and in discussion at the Second 
Peace Conference that this, right would extend to a case in which 
the captor was merely unable to spare a prize crew to take the 
vessel into one of his own ports without unduly diminishing his. 
fighting force. Great Britain, on her part, has always held that 
in case of a neutral ship or in case of doubt as to nationality, 
if the prize can not be brought in, she should be dismissed, and 
that no military necessity can justify to the neutral owner the 
destruction of his ship without due process of a prize court. In 
the few recorded cases where in past times neutral prizes have 
been so destroyed by English captors the court decreed full com- 
pensation as due of right to the owners for the wrong done to 
them. At the Second Peace Conference Great Britain endeavored 
unsuccessfully to obtain general recognition for the rule that 
destruction of neutral prizes should in all circumstances be for- 
bidden. The result of the discussions at that conference has; 
been to show that there is practically no prospect of this con- 
tention being accepted in its entirety, and it must be admitted 
that while authority can be quoted in its support from text- 
books and from British cases, there is a large body of opinion 
among writers on international law that although in principle a 
neutral ship should in every case be brought in or released, cir- 
cumstances might arise in which its immediate destruction would 
be justified. 

29. The matter is clearly one of much importance to neutral 
traders, and its importance is illustrated and accentuated by 
Russian action and Russian decisions during the recent Russo- 
Japanese War, when, as it appeared to His Majesty's Govern- 
ment, neutral vessels were destroyed without justification, but the 
legitimacy of such destruction was sustained by the Russian 
prize courts. It is therefore very desirable that some agreement 
should, if possible, be come to at the forthcoming conference 
which would afford a real check on belligerents in this respect. 
The way to an agreement might perhaps be found by proceeding 
on the lines of an affirmation of the general principle that neutral 
prizes must not be destroyed before adjudication, followed by a 
precise statement of the conditions on which alone a departure 
from the principle could be allowed in exceptional circumstances. 
These conditions would have to be so framed as to safeguard 
the rights and interests of neutrals in as effective a manner as 

* possible. 

30. His Majesty's Government can not admit the contention 
that inability of the captor to spare a prize crew would suffice 
to justify destruction. Such an admission would probably be 
held to authorize the destruction of neutral prizes in the majority 
of cases where the captor had not a port of his own near to the 
place of capture, It is to be expected that the duty of intercept- 
ing merchant vessels for visit and examination will often be 



British Instructions, 1908. 71 

intrusted to vessels of great speed and considerable offensive but 
small defensive powers, and unable conveniently to carry crews 
larger than requisite for the ordinary duties of the vessel. Such 
vessels would seldom be able to spare a sufficient number of men 
to form prize crews, and they would therefore frequently be in 
the position of not being able to send in a prize without weaken- 
ing their fighting force, and thus, as it might be argued, affecting 
their safety and the success of their operations. No doubt this 
danger is to some extent qualified by the fact that it would be 
difficult for such vessels to accommodate the passengers and crew 
of the prize, and unless they were able to do this, their only 
course ■ would be to take the prize into port under their guns, 
which would be almost impracticable if the port was at some 
distance from the place of capture. Clearly the crew and pas- 
sengers on board a neutral vessel, which may perhaps include 
women and children, ought not to be exposed to the hardships 
and risks which would arise if they were to remain for any 
length of time on board a belligerent man-of-war. Such a ship 
might, while these persons were still on board, be in action with 
an enemy, and nothing short of an altogether imperative necessity 
could justify a belligerent in exposing them to such a peril. 

31. The conditions which His Majesty's Government consider 
might fairly be attached to a recognition on their part of the 
right to sink neutral prizes would be that the emergency should 
be justified by an imperative military necessity of which the 
prize courts, and ultimately the international court, should be 
the judge, and that the crew and passengers must not, whilst on 
board a belligerent vessel, be exposed to the perils of a naval 
engagement. An effort should be made to secure the adoption 
by the conference of the view that inability to spare a prize crew, 
or the mere remoteness of a convenient national port, does not 
constitute a military necessity which would justify the sinking 
of a neutral prize. An agreement to this effect would gain enor- 
mously in value if it were also stipulated that in all cases where 
a neutral ship is sunk before adjudication in a prize court, the 
owners should be entitled to full compensation, altogether apart 
from the question of the character of the traffic in which the 
ship was engaged. 

32. When this subject was debated at the Second Feace Con- 
ference various suggestions were put forward from different 
quarters with a view to provide an alternative to destruction in 
cases where a vessel could not be brought into a national port. 
It is not improbable that some of those suggestions may be re- 
newed on the present occasion. The principal proposal in this 
direction was that the captor should be permitted, when a prize 
has been captured at a long distance from any of his ports, to 
take her into a neutral port within reach, where she would be 
sequestrated pending the adjudication of the prize court, to 



72 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

which, meanwhile, the ship's papers and the necessary witnesses 
were to be sent as soon as practicable. His Majesty's Govern- 
ment have declined to accept article 23 of the convention signed 
at The Hague respecting the rights and duties of neutral powers 
in maritime war which authorizes this procedure. I am not 
now in a position to say what view His Majesty's Government 
might have taken as to the advisability of accepting the proposal 
with or without some modifications or restrictions had its advo- 
cates offered it as a compromise in return for which they would 
abandon the claim to sink neutral prizes. It was in this form 
that the proposal was originally put forward. In the end, how- 
ever, the claim to sink was maintained, and the alternative sug- 
gestion was ultimately set up as an additional stipulation. In 
these circumstances His Majesty's Government did not feel justi- 
fied in making the double concession involved in recognizing the 
general validity of practices which are clearly open to grave ob- 
jections. I have already indicated the readiness of His Majesty's 
Government to consider how and to what extent those objections 
might be overcome as regards the destruction of neutral prizes. 
I do not, however, wish at this stage to fetter you by declaring the 
conditions formulated in paragraph 31 of the present instructions 
to offer the only possible solution that could be entertained by 
His Majesty's Government. On the contrary, their genuine 
anxiety for some understanding in this matter will dispose them 
to approach any proposals for a reasonable compromise in an un- 
biased and "conciliatory spirit. Without committing themselves 
to any definite decision, His Majesty's Government will accord- 
ingly be willing to listen and give due weight to any arguments 
and suggestions that may be brought forward in order to har- 
monize the opposing views by reopening the question of the 
sequestration of neutral prizes in neutral ports, although, as at 
present advised, they are not very hopeful that any system can be 
devised which would prove really satisfactory and acceptable to 
all parties. 

33. A suggestion has been made that it should be open to the 
captor and the captain of the prize, by agreement, to arrange 
that any contraband cargo on board should be handed over or 
destroyed, or that some form of bail might be given by the cap- 
tain of the prize, to which he would subsequently have to sur- 
render in one of the captor's prize courts, and that if either of 
these courses were adopted, the ship might be allowed to proceed. 
It has been argued that the possibility of this alternative to 
bringing the prize in would render it unnecessary, in any con- 
tingency which may be contemplated as probable, to resort to its 
destruction. This suggestion has been carefully examined, but 
His Majesty's Government have so far been unable to satisfy 
themselves that effect could be given to it without giving rise to 



Propositions, Naval Conference, 1908-9. 73 

complications of a practical and legal character which would 
render the framing of the necessary rules a task of great diffi- 
culty. You are, however, authorized to take into consideration 
and discuss any definite proposal which may be brought forward 
relating to this subject. (International Naval Conference, British 
Parliamentary Papers, Miscellaneous, No. 4, 1909, p. 28.) 

Propositions before the International Naval Confer- 
ence. — The propositions submitted to the International 
Naval Conference in 1908 varied widely and were based 
on different theories as to neutral and belligerent rights 
as well as upon different ideas as to what might be prac- 
tically advantageous to the respective naval powers. 

Germany proposed: 

24. Les navires et marchandises captures doivent etre conduits 
au siege d'un Tribunal de Prises du belligerant capteur pour *y 
etre juges. 

25. Par exception, les navires ou marchandises captures peu- 
vent etre immerges, coules, ou detruits autrement si leur con- 
servation pourrait compromettre la securite du batiment de 
guerre ou le succes de ses operations. 

Avant la destruction du navire, son equipage devra etre mis en 
surete et tous les papiers du bord et telles autres pieces que les 
interesses jugeront importantes pour l'etablissement de la validite 
de la capture devront etre transbordes sur le batiment de guerre. 

26. Dans les cas prevus & l'alinea l er de l'article 25, on pourra 
egalement immerger ou detruire, avec le navire, les marchandises 
qui ne sont pas susceptibles de confiscation, et qui, en raison des 
circonstances, ne peuvent §tre transbordes sur le batiment de 
guerre. Dans ce cas, le proprietaire de ces marchandises aura 
droit a une indemnite. (Ibid., No. 5, p. 99.) 

The United States renewed the instructions as found 
in the Naval War Code of 1900 : 

Art. 46. Prizes should be sent in for adjudication, unless other- 
wise directed, to the nearest suitable port, within the territorial 
jurisdiction of the United States, in which a prize court may take 
action. 

Art. 49. The title to property seized as prize changes only by 
the decision rendered by the prize court. But if the vessel or 
its cargo is needed for immediate public use, it may be converted 
to such use, a careful inventory and appraisal being made by 
impartial persons and certified to the prize court. 

Art. 50. If there are controlling reasons why vessels that are 
properly captured may not be sent in for adjudication — such as 
unseaworthiness, the existence of infectious disease, or the lack 



74 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

of a prize crew— they may be appraised and sold, and if this 
can not be done, they may be destroyed. The imminent danger 
of recapture would justify destruction if there should be no 
doubt that the vessel was a proper prize. But in all such cases 
all of the papers and other testimony should be sent to the prize 
court, in order that a dcree may be duly entered. 

Austria proposed that the destruction of neutral prizes 
should be reduced to the minimum. 
Spain suggested: 

(D) Les prises neutres ne sauraient etre detruites par le cap- 
teur tant que le tribunal competent ne les ait pas declare legales. 
L'application de ce principe pourra toute fois etre subordonnee 
par les puissances signataires de la future convention a l'accep- 
tation des prescriptions contenues dans la " Convention concernant 
les droits et les devoirs des puissances neutres en ces de guerre 
maritime " au sujet de l'acces des prises neutres aux ports neutres. 
Mais meine dans ce cas la destruction ne serait justifiee que par 
des raisons resultant de l'etat de la mer, des conditions des 
navires capteurs et captures pour naviguer ou du manque de com- 
bustibles ou. vivres, et non pas de la proximite de l'ennenii ou 
du manque d'elements militaires suffisants pour assurer la con- 
duction au port correspondent. Ces derniers motifs et d'autres 
analogues impliquent que le capteur ne possede pas assez de 
moyens pour mener a terme la saisie. (Ibid., p. 100.) 

France would make the destruction of neutral prize 
exceptional : 

En principe, les prises doiveut etre amarines, conduites dans 
un port national ou allie, et non pas detruites. 

Toutefois, le capteur est autorise a detruire toute prise dont la 
conservation compromettrait sa propre secruite ou le succes de 
ses operations, notamment s'il ne peut conserver la prise sans 
affaiblir son equipage. 

II ne doit §tre fait usage de ce droit de destruction qu'avec la 
plus grande reserve envers les nn vires ennemis, et a fortiori en- 
vers les navires neutres. La destruction d'un navire neutre doit 
etre tout a fait exceptionnelle. 

En cas de destruction, le capteur doit avoir soin de conserver 
tous les papiers de bord et autres elements necessaires pour per- 
mettre le jugement de la prise. (Ibid., p. 101.) 

Great Britain maintained its earlier position : 

1. Le devoir d'un belligerant capteur est d'amener, pour qu'il 
soit juge par un tribunal des prises, tout navire marchand qu'il a 
saisi. Lorsque c'est impossible, ce dernier, si c'est un navire 
ennemi, peut etre detruit apres retrait de l'equipage et des papiers 



Propositio7is, Naval Conference. 1908-9. 75 

de bord; si la nationality du navire est neutre, ou s'il y a un 
doute quelconque quant & la nationality, il devrait etre relache, 
car sa destruction ne peut etre justifiee, entre le proprietaire 
neutre et le capteur, par une necessite quelconque de la part d'un 
belligerant. 

2. Un chargement neutre licite a bord d'un navire ennemi 
n'etant pas saisissable, le proprietaire de ce chargement a droit k 
l'indemnite si le navire ennemi est detruit. (Ibid., p. 101.) 

Italy did not assume- any very positive position : 

(d) Les questions, concernant le droit de proceder a la destruc- 
tion des navires marchands, soit ennemis que neutres, avant que 
le tribunal des prises se soit prononce, ne sont pas reglees ex- 
pressgment par le droit positif italien. 

Dans un cas special il a ete decide que le proprietaire d'un 
navire neutre de commerce, detruit avant que la capture n'en ait 
ete soumise au jugement regulier du tribunal des prises, n'aurait 
aucune raison et aucun interet a porter plainte, lorsque le navire 
se trouvait dans des conditions qui en justifiaient legalement la 
capture et la confiscation. (Cont. dipl., 16 decembre 1859, capture 
du navire " Fama Argentine.") (Ibid., p. 101.) 

Japan assumed a position similar to that of Great 
Britain : 

Les commandants des batiments de guerre belligerants sont 
tenus d'envoyer pour etre mis en jugement les navires neutres 
apres saisle. Si, pour une raison quelconque, ils ne peuvent le 
faire, les dits navires ne devraient etre detruits avant condamna- 
tion. (Ibid., p. 101.) 

The Netherlands proposition involved sequestration: 

IV. (1) Un navire neutre capture doit etre relache par le 
capteur, s'il ne peut etre conduit dans un port du capteur ou dans 
un port neutre, en attendant la decision du tribunal des prises 
(conformement a l'article 23 de la Convention concernant les 
droits et les devoirs des puissances neutres en cas de guerre 
maritime). 

(2) Dans le cas vise dans l'alinea precedent le belligerant 
pourra, sans detruire le navire, prendre toutes les mesures pour 
empecher que ]a contrebande n'atteigne sa destination ennemie. 
Le tribunal des prises appreciera le bien-fonde des mesures prises. 

(3) Dans les circonstances mentionnees sub (1), un navire 
ennemi peut etre detruit apres que l'equipage et les papiers de 
bord auront ete mis en stirete. 

(4) Le proprietaire sera indemnise do la destruction de sa 
cargaison si celle-ci n'etait pas su.iette a confiscation. (Ibid., 
p. 101.) 



76 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

Russia was rather more liberal than most other States: 

IV. Aeticle l er . La destruction d'un navire de nationality 
neutre, saisi et sujet a confiscation, est interdite, a l'exception 
des cas ou sa conservation pourrait coniproniettre la securite du 
navire capteur ou le succ$s de ses operations. 

Art. 2. Dans les cas prevus a. l'article l er , le commandant du 
batiment capteur est tenu, avant de faire detruire le navire, d'en 
transborder les hoinmes et, autant que faire se pourra, la car- 
gaison, ainsi que de prendre les mesures requises pour conserver 
tous les papiers de bord et, s'il y a lieu, d'autres objets qui pour- 
raient etre necessaires pour le jugement par devant le tribunal 
des prises. (Ibid., p. 102.) 

Basis of discussion at the International Naval Con- 
ference. — As a result of the comparison of the various 
propositions and comments the following observations 
and bases of discussion were offered to the conference at 
its opening session and formed the point of departure 
for its work: 

OBSERVATIONS. 

1. Destruction des prises neutres. — Tout le monde est d'accord 
pour reconnaitre qu'en principe une prise neutre doit §tre con- 
duite dans un port de prise et faire l'objet d'une decision de cour 
de prises. 

Certains Gouvernements considerent que ce principe general 
est absolu et ne souffre pas d'exceptions. D'autres Gouvernements 
ont admis dans leur pratique la faculte exceptionnelle pour le 
capteur de detruire la prise dans certains cas determines. Cette 
faculte exceptionnelle doit-elle etre reconnue comme constituant 
une interpretation generalement acquise du principe commun? 

BASE DE DISCUSSION. 

30. En principe une prise neutre doit etre conduite dans un 
port de prise. 

31. L'obligation de conduire le navire neutre capture dans un 
port de prise doit-elle etre interpretee comme absolue ou comme 
souffrant des exceptions? 

OBSERVATIONS. 

2. Destruction des proprieties neutres a bord d'une prise 
ennemie. — Une question connexe a la precedente a ete visee par 
un certain nombre de memorandums ; il s'agit du cas ou une 
propriete neutre k bord d'un navire ennemi s'est trouvee com- 
prise clans la destruction de celui-ci. Des propositions de stipu- 



Discussion, Naval Conference, 1908-9. 77 

lation conveiitionnelle pen vent ou pourront ete faites a cet egard ; 
mais dans la pratique actuelle le principe general reconnu, 
d'apres lequel la niarchandise nentre sous pavilion ennenai n'est 
pas saisissable, doit-il etre interprets en ce sens qu'en cas de 
destruction le proprietaire de cette marcliandise doit etre in- 
dernnise de sa \aleur? ou qu'en pareil cas il y a un fait de guerre 
ne donnant pas lieu legalenient jusqu'ici a une responsabilite 
pecuniaire a la charge du belligerant? 

BASE DE DISCUSSION. 

32. Le principe d'apres lequel la marcliandise neutre se trouvant 
a bord d'un navire ennemi n'est pas saisissable, doit-il etre in- 
terprete en ce sens qu'en cas de destruction du navire le pro- 
prietaire de cette niarchandise doit etre indeninise? ou qu'en 
pareil cas la destruction du navire constitue un fait de guerre ne 
donnant pas lieu legalenient a une responsabilite pecuniaire a. 
la charge du belligerant? (Ibid., p. 102.) 

It will be seen that these bases of discussion were not 
in the positive form which was given to some of the 
topics *placed before the conference, and this was simply 
an evidence of the divergence of view which prevailed 
at the outset. 

Discussion at the International N aval Conference. — The 
discussion at the Naval Conference of 1908-9 upon de- 
struction of neutral prize was very full, and the delegates 
having technical knowledge of the effect of destruction 
upon naval operations gave special attention to the sub- 
ject. 

The position taken by Russia at the Hague Confer- 
ence of 1907 was reaffirmed and supported by arguments 
similar to those brought forward in 1907. The Russian 
delegation showed that the wording of the Japanese 
rules of 1904 did not prohibit destruction of neutral prize 
and that article 50 of the United States Naval War Code 
of 1900 made no distinction between the destruction of 
neutral and enemy merchant vessels. 

The German plenipotentiary supported the Russian 
contention, also reaffirming the position taken in 1907, 
and stating that — 

Dans la pratique mon Gouvernement a reconnu l'existence du 
droit de destruction lorsqu'il avait ete pendant la derniere guerre 



78 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

applique par le Gouvernement russe contre le navire allemand 
Thea. Ce navire ayant ete saisi pour cause de contrebande et 
coule a fond en raison de Fimpossibilite de le conduire dans un 
port de prise, le Gouvernement allemand s'est abstenu de toute 
protestation contre cette mesure et s'est borne a soutenir la 
reclamation des proprietaires allemands contre la legitiraite de 
la capture. Au cours de l'instruction devant la juridiction des 
prises la capture du Thea n'a pas ete maintenue et les in- 
teresses ont obtenu dedommagement plein et entier des pertes 
qu'ils avaient subies. Ce cas me parait particulierement in- 
teresant au point de vue des consequences du droit de destruction, 
parce que, en l'espece, la capture et partant la destruction n'etaient 
pas justifiees et que, malgre cela, les interessgs n'ont pas eu de 
quoi se plaindre et se sont trouves bien en fin de compte de la 
maniere dont ils ont et6 traites. II parait done que le droit de 
destruction ne recele point les dangers qu'on a voulu signaler. 

Parmi les Puissances nominees dans l'expose de M. le Baron 
Taube, il y a encore une autre qui pendant la derniere guerre a 
observe 1 dans une situation analogue une attitude pareille a celle 
de l'Allemagne. Le navire anglais Knight Commander, qui avait 
ete detruit par un batirnent de guerre ruses, avait eu une 
cargaison appartenant en partie a des citoyens des Eta'ts-Unis 
d'Amerique. Le Departeinent d'Etat de Washington, ayant &t& 
saisi d'une reclamation de ce chef, a alors pris position dans un 
telegramme, en date due 6 aoiit 1904. II y declare expressement 
ne pas pouvoir fonder une reclamation sur la these suivant 
laquelle un belligerant capteur ne serait pas en droit de detruire 
une prise en cas de necessite imperieuse. 

After speaking of the differences in judicial systems 
in accordance with which the title to prize passes by one 
system on capture if condemnation ensues and by an- 
other only after judgment by a prize court, the German 
plenipotentiary also says : 

II faut plutot examiner si, independamment de la question 
juridique, le navire est en fait definitivement perdu pour le pro- 
prietaire et acquis au capteur. En cas de reponse affirmative, le 
capteur peut en disposer comme de son propre bien. Par con- 
sequent, nous reclamons le droit de detruire une prise neutre en 
cas de necessite lorsqu'elle est sujette a confiscation. Si, au 
contraire, le navire lui-meme ne peut pas etre confisque, le fait 
qu'il a de la contrebande a bord ne suffit pas pour justifier sa 
destruction. II est vrai que le capitaine du croiseur ponrrait par 
suite d'une appreciation erronee des faits detruire comme passible 
de confiscation un navire qui ne le serait pas en realite. Mais 
la grave responsabilite qu'entrainerait un abus du droit de des- 



Discussion, Naval Conference, 1908-9. 79 

tructioii rendra bien rares des cas seinblables et le proprietaire 
n'aurait pas a en souffrir. Car, au lieu du navire qui ne pourrait 
etre restitue, le tribunal des prises devrait lui allouer une indem- 
nite qui le dedommagerait entierement de sa perte. En ce qui 
concerne la cargaison d'un navire qu'on a le droit de detruire. les 
marcbandises eonfiscables pen vent librenient etre detruities avec 
le navire. Le reste de la cargaison doit etre transborde sur.un 
autre navire, si les circonstances le permettent. Dans le cas oft 
ces marcbandises seraient coulees avec le navire, nous proposons, 
a la difference du memorandum francais, de reconnaitre au pro- 
prietaire le droit & une indemnity convenable. 

Je passe & une autre objection qu'on a voulu soulever contre 
le droit de destruction. On a dit que le destruction ne saurait etre 
reconnue comme licite, puisqu'elle prejugerait indument les 
chances de la guerre, en rendant impossible la reprise de la prise 
neutre par l'adversaire. Mais, abstraction faite du peu d'im- 
portance de cet argument, la meme objection pourrait etre faite 
a propos des navires sous pavilion ennemi. La situation est 
analogue en ce qui concerne les considerations d'ordre humani- 
taire alleguees contre la destruction des prises neutres. On a dit 
que les passagers qui s'embarquent sur un navire ennemi savent 
a quel danger ils s'exposent; mais cela n'est plus vrai lorsqu'il 
s'agit d'un navire ennemi qui a quitte son dernier port de depart 
avant le commencement de la guerre et qui est rencontre en mer 
ignorant des hostilites. Tout de meme, la Convention concernant 
le regime des navires de commerce ennemis au debut des hostili- 
tes, elaboree par la Deuxieme Conference de la Paix, reconnait 
expressement le droit des belligerants de detruire ces navires. 
(Ibid., p. 171.) ' 

The American delegation stated its position briefly : 

La Delegation amSricaine accepte la base de discussion No. 30. 
Toutefois, la delegation reconnait qu'il peut, dans certain cas, 
Gtre impossible de conduire la prise dans un port sounds a la 
juridiction du belligerant. Dans ce cas, la prise doit etre relach§e 
a moins que des necessites militaires imperieuses n'exigent sa 
destruction, mais alors les officiers et l'equipage du navire coule" 
doivent etre mis en securite. 

Les cours de prises decideront, s'il y a lieu, k accorder des 
dommages-interets et en fixeront le montant. (Ibid., p. 272.) 

The British delegation made an extended argument 
upon " ce probleme difficile et epineux," showing the 
opinion of Kleen and Calvo the practical working of a 
rule allowing destruction, the weight of cases decided in 
English courts and maintaining the justice of a rule pro- 



80 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

hibiting destruction save in very exceptional circum- 
stances, though expressing a willingness to consider any 
solution that might be offered. (Ibid., pp. 272-276.) 

The Japanese delegation assumed a position opposed to 
destruction : 

La Delegation du Japon estime que les prises neutres doivent 
toujours etre conduites dans un port de prises; autrement elles 
doivent etre relacliees. Dans le cas de destruction d'un navire de 
commerce ennemi, le proprietaire des marchandises neutres a 
bord doit, en principe, etre indemnise a l'exception des ca& 
suivants : 

1. Lorsque le navire est au service ou sous le contrOle de 
1'ennemi ; 

2. Lorsque le navire resiste a la visite ou a la capture, ou 
tente d'y echaper par la fuite. (Ibid., p. 276.) 

Italy again raised the question of sequestration in a 
neutral port as a solution : 

La Delegation italienne tient a declarer qu'elle est prete a 
accepter, en principe, la regie qui defend, en tout cas, la destruc- 
tion des prises neutres, comme celle qui sauvegarde le mieux 
les droits des tiers et la securite du commerce. Mais elle est 
d'avis que cette regie ne saurait §tre admise et recommandge a 
tous les Etats qu'a la condition qu'on admette generalement, en 
meme temps, le principe que les prises pourront, en tout cas, 
§tre amenees dans un port neutre, pour y etre gardees sous 
sSquestre, en attendant la decision du tribunal selpn la disposition 
inseree a cet egard a l'article 23, premier alinea, de la Convention 
de la Haye concernant des droits et les devoirs des puissances 
neutres en cas de guerre maritime. L'abandon du droit de 
detruire les prises neutres devrait, par consequent, £tre sub- 
ordonne a, l'acceptation simultanee de ce principe comme faisant 
partie du droit international en vigueur. (Ibid., p. 277.) 

The Austrian delegation adopted the point of view of 
the German delegation. 

The Netherlands, indorsing British position, said: 

La Delegation des Pays-Bas, tout en se conformant a l'opinion 
emise par elle a la Deuxidme Conference de la Paix, tient a 
constater que, dans un but de conciliation, elle est maintenant 
prete a accepter la solution emise par la Delegation britannique 
que seulement en cas tres exceptionnels la destruction des prises 
serait permise. II serait peut-etre possible de dresser une liste 
des cas ou il serait permis au capteur de detruire. (Ibid., p. 277.) 



General Report, Naval Conference. 81 

After many interchanges of views and attempts to 
formulate satisfactory rules the International Naval Con- 
ference drew up and approved articles 48 to 54 of the 
Declaration of London. 

Declaration of London on destruction of neutral 
prizes. — The results of the work of the International 
Naval Conference upon the subject of the destruction of 
neutral prizes which was so fully considered may be best 
shown in the chapter of the General Report of the Con- 
ference relating to this topic. 

Chapter IV. 

DESTRUCTION OF NEUTRAL PRIZES. 

Tlie destruction of neutral prizes was a subject in the pro- 
gram of the Second Peace Conference, and at that time it was 
not possible to establish a rule. It reappeared in the program 
of the present conference, and this time agreement has been 
found possible. There is reason for congratulation on such a 
result, which bears witness to the sincere desire of all parties 
for an understanding. It has here been shown once more that 
positive and conflicting rules do not always correspond to things 
as they are, and that if there be willingness to descend to details, 
and to arrive at the precise applications, there will often be al- 
most the same method of action, although the opinions advanced 
appeared to be entirely in conflict. To reach an agreement, it is 
first of all necessary that there should be a thorough understand- 
ing, which is not always the case. Thus it has become evident 
that those who declared for the. right to destroy neutral prizes 
did not pretend to use this right wantonly and at every oppor- 
tunity, but only by way of exception ; and that, on the other 
hand, those who maintained the principle of prohibition of de- 
struction admitted that the principle must give way in excep- 
tional cases. It then became a question of agreeing on those 
exceptional cases to which, according to both views, the right to 
destroy should be confined. This was not all : there was need 
also for a guaranty against abuses in the exercise of this right ; 
arbitrariness in the determination of these exceptional cases 
must be limited by imposing some real responsibility upon the 
captor. It was at this stage that a new idea was introduced in 
the making of the rule in this matter, thanks to which it was 
possible to arrive at an agreement. The possibility of interven- 
tion by a court of justice will make the captor reflect at the same 
8901—11 6 



82 Destimction of Neutral Vessel. 

time that it will secure reparation in cases where there was no 
reason for the destruction. 

Such is the general spirit of the provisions of this chapter. 

Abticle 48. — A neutral vessel which has been captured is not to 
be destroyed by the captor, but must be taken into such port as 
is proper for the determination there of all questions concerning 
the validity of the capture. 

The general principle is very simple. A neutral vessel which 
has been seized may not be destroyed by the captor ; that may be 
admitted by everyone, whatever view is taken as to the effect pro- 
duced by the capture. The vessel must be taken into a port for 
the determination there as to the validity of the prize. A prize 
crew will or will not be put on board, according to circumstances. 

Article 49. — As an exception, a neutral vessel which has been 
captured by a belligerent ship, and which would be liable to 
condemnation, may be destroyed if the observance of Article 1^8 
would involve danger to the ship of war or to the success of 
the operations in which she is at the time engaged. 

The first condition in order that a captured vessel may be 
destroyed is that she should be liable to condemnation upon the 
facts of the case. If the captor can not even hope to obtain the 
condemnation of the vessel, how can he lay claim to destroy her? 

The second condition is that the observance of the general 
principle would naturally involve danger to the warship or to 
the success of the operations in which she is engaged at the 
time. This is the regulation on which agreement was reached 
after various tentative propositions. It was understood that 
compromettre la securite was synonymous with mettre en danger 
le navire, and might be translated into English by, involve danger. 
It is, of course, the situation at the moment when the destruc- 
tion takes place which must be considered in order to decide 
whether the conditions are or are not fulfilled. A danger which 
did not exist at the actual moment of the capture may have 
appeared some time afterwards. 

Article 50. — Before such destruction, the persons on board must 
be placed in safety, and all the ship's papers and other docu- 
ments which the parties interested consider relevant for the 
purpose of deciding on the validity of the capture must be taken 
on board the ship of war. 

This provision makes known the precautions to be taken in the 
interests of the persons and of the administration of justice. 



General Report, Naval Conference. 83 

Article 51. — A captor who has destroyed a neutral vessel must, 
prior to any decision respecting the validity of the capture, 
prove as a fact that he only acted in the face of such an excep- 
tional necessity as is contemplated in Article lfi. If he fails to 
do so, he is bound to indemnify the parties interested, and no 
investigation is to be made as to whether or not the capture 
was valid. 

This provision gives a guaranty against the arbitrary destruc- 
tion of prizes by establishing a real responsibility of the captor 
who has carried out the destruction. The captor must actually, 
before any decision respecting the validity of the prize, prove that 
he was really in such an exceptional situation as was specified. 
This proof must be established in a manner to meet the opposi- 
tion of the neutral, who, if not satisfied with the decision of the 
national prize court, may take his case before the international 
court. This proof is, therefore, a condition precedent which the 
captor must fulfill. If he does not do this, he must compensate 
those interested in the vessel and the cargo, without any investi- 
gation as to whether the capture was or was not valid. Ac- 
cordingly there is a positive sanction of the obligation not to 
destroy a prize except in the specified cases ; this sanction is a 
fine inflicted on the captor. If, on the other hand, this proof is 
established, the prize procedure follows the usual course ; if the 
prize is declared valid, no compensation is due ; if it is declared 
void, those interested have a right to be compensated. Resort 
to the international court can be had only after the decision of 
the prize court has been rendered on the whole matter, and not 
immediately after the preliminary question has been decided. 

Article 52. — If the capture of a neutral vessel is subsequently 
held to be invalid, though the act of destruction has been held 
to have been justifiable, the captor must pay compensation to 
the parties interested, in place of the restitution to which they 
ivould have been entitled. 

Article 53. — If neutral goods not liable to condemnation have been 
destroyed with the vessel, the owner of such goods is entitled to 
compensation. 

If a vessel which has been destroyed carried neutral goods 
not liable to condemnation, the owner of such goods has, in every 
case, a right to compensation; that is to say, without having to 
distinguish as to whether the destruction was or was not justi- 
fied. This is equitable and is a further guarantee against arbi- 
trary destruction. 



84 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

Article 54. — The captor has the right to require the delivery, or 
to proceed himself to the destruction of goods liable to con- 
demnation found on board a vessel not herself liable to con- 
demnation, provided that the circumstances are such as would, 
under Article 49 justify the destruction of a vessel liable to 
condemnation. The captor must enter in tlie log booh of the 
vessel stopped the articles handed over or destroyed, and must 
procure from the master duly certified copies of all relevant 
papers. When the delivery, or the destruction has been effected, 
and the formalities complied with, the master must be allowed 
to continue his voyage. The provisions of articles 51 and o2 
respecting the obligations of a captor who has destroyed a neu- 
tral vessel are applicable. 

A cruiser encounters a neutral merchant vessel carrying contra- 
band in a proportion less than that specified in article 40. The 
captain of the cruiser may put a prize crew on board the vessel 
and take her into a port for adjudication. He may, in con- 
formity with the provisions of article 44, accept the delivery of 
the contraband which is offered to him by the vessel stopped. 
But what is to happen if neither of these' solutions is reached? 
The vessel stopped does not offer to deliver the contraband, and 
the cruiser is not in a position to take the vessel into one of her 
ports. Is the cruiser obliged to let the neutral vessel go with 
the contraband on board? This has seemed excessive, at least in 
certain exceptional circumstances. These are in fact the same 
which would have justified the destruction of the vessel, if she 
had been liable to condemnation. In such a case the cruiser may 
require the delivery, or proceed to the destruction, of the goods 
liable to condemnation. The reasons which warrant the de- 
struction of the vessel would justify the destruction of the 
contraband goods, the more so as the considerations of humanity 
which may be invoked in case of the destruction of a vessel do 
not here apply. Against an arbitrary demand by the cruiser 
there are the same guarantees as those which made it possible 
to recognize the right to destroy the vessel. The captor must, 
as a condition precedent, prove that he really found himself in 
the exceptional circumstances specified; failing this, he is penal- 
ized to the value of the goods delivered or destroyed, without 
investigation as to whether they were or were not contraband. 

The regulation prescribes certain formalities which are neces- 
sary to establish the facts of the case and to make the prize 
court free to adjudicate. 

Of course, when once the delivery of the goods has been 
effected or their destruction has taken place, and the formalities 
have been carried out, the vessel which has been stopped must be 
left free to continue her voyage. (International Law Topics, 
Naval War College, 1909, p. 111.) 



A ttitude Certain Commercial Bodies . 8 5 

Attitude of some commercial bodies.— The Declaration 
of London of February 26, 1909, has received in Great 
Britain very serious attention and the articles in regard 
to the destruction of neutral prizes have been the subject 
of much discussion. The chambers of commerce of Great 
Britain, apparently as a result of organized effort, have 
sent to the British Foreign Office various communications 
respecting the Declaration of London. To some of these 
communications the Foreign Secretary has replied. 

The communication of the Glasgow Chamber of Com- 
merce on August 10, 1910, so far as relates to the de- 
struction of neutral prizes, is as follows : 

The statement of the law on this subject is satisfactory, except 
as regards the exception contained in article 49. This article 
concedes the right of a belligerent warship to destroy the prize 
if the taking thereof into a port would involve danger to the 
safety of the warship or to the success of the operations in 
which the captor is engaged at the time. This is a serious de- 
parture from the practice hitherto recognized. The rule which 
has in the past been maintained by this country is that a neutral 
vessel must never be destroyed. If it is impossible to bring her 
within the jurisdiction of a court competent to adjudicate upon 
her, she must be immediately released. The only exception is that, 
if she can be sent into a neutral port and can be allowed to lie 
there, this may be done. Taking the exception contained in 
article 49 as it stands, no prize court — national^or international — 
would seriously challenge the discretion of the captor in refer- 
ence to danger to his vessel or to the success of his operations, 
and the provisions of article 51 are therefore of no value. 

A question might no doubt be raised as to whether the neutral 
vessel was liable to condemnation, but this would require to 
be determined subsequently in a prize court or in the international 
court. 

Experience has shown the disadvantage to which neutral own- 
ers are exposed in such circumstances, and while belligerents 
have claimed the right to destroy prizes the right has never been 
regarded favorably. The effect of article 49 is, however, to recog- 
nize and approve of the right, while the safeguards, it is sub- 
mitted, are illusory. 

Article 54 gives the captor right to destroy any goods liable 
to condemnation found on board a vessel not herself liable to 
condemnation under article 49. This is a further departure 
from the recognized rule and one which is of grave consequence 
to neutrals. 



86 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

Keeping in view the enormous shipping trade of this country, 
it is submitted that the recognition of the rule in question would 
be a serious loss to British shippers and would impose upon them 
heavy burdens. (Correspondence respecting the Declaration of 
London, Parliamentary Papers; Miscellaneous, No. 4, 1910, Cd. 
5418, p. 2.) 

To this the Foreign Office replied on October 13, 1910 : 

18. Sir E. Grey is glad to find that on this subject the Chamber 
of Commerce regard the provisions of the Declaration of London 
as satisfactory, with the exception of article 49. 

19. In articles 48 et sequentes, which govern the sinking of 
neutral vessels, very strict limitations are imposed on such 
action, while in all cases the onus of proof of the necessity of 
sinking the vessel lies on the captor. The right to sink neutral 
prizes has been claimed in the past by several Great Powers, and 
the modifications introduced by the Declaration place this country, 
when neutral, in a more favorable position than she has hitherto 
been, and, as the claim to sink neutral ships has always been op- 
posed by Great Britain, her own. rights as a belligerent are not 
affected, since, being ex Jiypothesi, already at war, she would 
not, except as a result of victory, be able to enforce her own 
views on her opponent. If the opponent sank a neutral mer- 
chantman the question would, in the absence of the Declaration, 
be dealt with by the two Governments directly concerned in 
accordance with their own views without any reference to the 
practice of Great Britain. 

20. If, as the Chamber of Commerce assume, belligerents are 
likely to sink neutral vessels when captured, even though they 
may be liable to pay compensation under the Declaration, they 
will not refrain from doing so should the Declaration fail to be 
ratified. 

21. The arguments which apply to the articles of the Declara- 
tion governing the destruction of neutral prizes apply equally to 
the destruction of goods liable to be condemned, the onus of 
proof falling upon the captor. (Ibid., p. 7.) 

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce sent another com- 
munication on November 14, 1910, saying: 

Hitherto Great Britain has opposed the claim of a belligerent 
to sink neutral ships. Under article 49 of the Declaration, the 
right to do so is conceded to belligerents in certain circumstances. 
The Foreign Office apparently assumes that if the Declaration is 
not ratified and Great Britain is a neutral, she will submit to 
have the rule of international law on which she insists, viz, that 
neutral ships shall not be sunk but brought into port for adjudi- 
cation, violated in her case, without taking steps to enforce its 
observance. If this is a correct interpretation of the position of 



Re fly of Foreign Office. 87 

the Foreign .Office, the directors of the chamber, with respect, sub- 
mit that it is a policy unworthy of Great Britain. 

Further, the Foreign Office, in their instructions to their dele- 
gates at the conference, pointed out with conclusive force that if 
there was to be any agreement on this subject, the general prin- 
ciple that neutral prizes are not to be destroyed must be affirmed, 
followed by a precise statement of the conditions on which alone 
a departure from the principle could be allowed in exceptional 
circumstances. (Blue Book, p. 28, art. 29.) The Government 
went, on to point out cases which could not be allowed to justify 
destruction. (Art. 30.) The Declaration of London on this point 
entirely fails to define the precise cases which shall justify de- 
struction. On the contrary, the officer who destroys the prize is 
left without special directions to restrain him. Here again there 
is room for numerous questions and distressing uncertainty. 

With reference to the provisions of the Declaration, both as 
affecting contraband and the destruction of neutral prizes, the 
directors can not help again referring to the instructions, for it 
seems to them that the Declaration, so far as the chamber has 
criticised it, violates the principles there laid down. Thus it is 
said the Government " would find it difficult to be satisfied with 
any merely conventional stipulations of limited application that 
would leave it uncertain whether the international court might 
not by its decisions introduce rules and principles of naval war- 
fare which would unduly fetter the operations of His Majesty's 
ships." (Ibid., p. 10.) 

Reply of British Foreign Office. — To this the Foreign 
Office makes answer on November 26, 1910: 

18. Your letter next discusses the question of the sinking of 
neutral prizes, and does so from the point of view of the neutral 
owners. The Declaration is criticised because it recognizes ex- 
ceptions to the general rule that neutral prizes must be con- 
demned in a prize court before they can be destroyed by the 
captor. As has already been pointed out, most of the naval 
Powers claim that the right to sink without previous adjudication 
is in conformity with the existing law of nations. Your directors 
consider that it would be unworthy of Great Britain not to insure 
by force the observance of the British view of the law of nations. 
Resort to war is of course the ultimate means of enforcing com- 
pliance with national demands, but it will be in the recollection 
of your directors that in 1904, when the belligerent claim to such 
treatment of neutral prizes was put into force for the first time, 
it was not thought desirable, in the higher inerests of the country, 
to go to war. The action of Great Britain was then confined to 
diplomatic protest, and it would on future occasions be all the 
more difficult for her to justify an appeal to force in support of 
viaws which are not held by the majority of the powers. His 



88 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

Majesty's Government have, therefore, been anxious to find a 
less violent and. less costly method of solving the difficulty aris- 
ing out of the conflicting interpretations of international law, if 
they could do so without material injury to the interests of the 
country and of British shipowners. They had, furthermore, to 
consider that in a war in which Great Britain was herself a 
belligerent, a powerful enemy claiming the right to sink would 
undoubtedly exercise that right without Great Britain being in 
a position to prevent this otherwise than by prosecuting the war 
in which she was already engaged; whilst resistance on the part 
of the neutrals was not to be counted upon so long as they them- 
selves recognized the right. 

19. For British vessels whilst neutral, the endeavor of His 
Majesty's Government has been to secure conditions offering 
reliable safeguards that destruction prior to adjudication shall 
not take place save in exceptional emergencies, and then only if 
a vessel is captured in circumstances that would render her 
liable to condemnation in a prize court. The strict fulfilment of 
such conditions would obviously be an absolute guaranty that the 
captor would in effect but destroy his own property. Supposing 
the right of destruction to have been thus narrowly circumscribed, 
it would remain to provide an effective remedy in the case of any 
abuse or mistake on the part of the captor. The appropriate- 
remedy would consist in the neutral owner being fully indemni- 
fied for any loss or injury illegitimately inflicted upon him in such 
circumstances. 

20. The Declaration consists of a series of provisions designed 
to attain these objects, which need not again be quoted at length. 
They were fully explained and commented upon in the report of 
the British Delegates at the Naval Conference of the 1st March, 
1909, which is included in the Blue Book (p. 98). Your letter 
asserts that the Declaration "entirely fails to define the precise 
cases which justify destruction." This is an error. The cases 
are expressly stated to be those, and those only, in which the 
ship is liable to condemnation, and these are enumerated and 
clearly defined in articles 40 and 46, under the heads of contra- 
band and unneutral service. If the remark was meant to refer 
to the fact that the Declaration does not specifically define the 
circumstances of " exceptional necessity," which constitute dan- 
ger to the safety of the captor's ship or to the success of the 
operations in which she is at the moment engaged, your directors 
will see, on reference to section 25 of the Delegates' Report, 
that the alternative of introducing a more precise definition of 
such circumstances was after careful consideration discarded be- 
cause it was seen to be impossible to enumerate them exhaustively 
and because any incomplete enumeration would be more harm- 
ful in its practical effects than a well-framed general rule standing 
alone. (Ibid., p. 14.) 



Reply of Foreign Office. 89 

In reply to a letter of the Leith Shipowners' Society, 
saying that the destruction of neutral prizes at sea would 
be " liable to serious abuse," the Foreign Office, on Novem- 
ber 4, 1910, says: 

4. The second question raised in your letter is that of the 
destruction of neutral vessels prior to- adjudication in a prize 
court. You contend that such a practice is liable to serious abuse, 
even under the most carefully worded conditions. It is, however, 
important primarily to consider what would be the position if 
the Declaration of London were not to come in force. Your 
society can not be unaware that the sinking of neutral vessels 
having contraband on board has been asserted by most of the 
naval Powers to be in entire accordance with the existing law of 
nations. Nor have those Powers hitherto admitted that such right 
is limited by any of the serious restrictions which are now im- 
posed under the Declaration, and to which, in fact, they have 
only been induced to agree as specific concessions to the view 
upheld by this country. Combined with the establishment of an 
international court of appeal in matters of prize, those conces- 
sions constitute a very effective safeguard against any abuse of 
the power to sink neutral vessels which belligerents have up to 
now claimed to exercise without any restraints. 

5. Nonratification of the Declaration would necessarily involve 
the abandonment both of the concessions obtained thereunder 
and of the whole scheme of an international prize court, with this 
result, among others, that neutrals would, as heretofore, have no 
other remedy than a recourse to force against a belligerent 
whose national prize courts recognized the practically unre- 
stricted right to sink neutral vessels carrying contraband as being 
well established in international law. Even, therefore, if it 
were, for the sake of argument, admitted that the safeguards 
provided by the Declaration were not so completely adequate as 
to prevent any possible abuse, it is a fact not open to controversy 
that, such as they are, they represent a material and beneficial 
advance on a state of things which left belligerents practically 
free to act without' any of the stipulated restrictions. (Ibid., 
p. 17.) 

There has been much activity shown by many com- 
mercial bodies and some of the resolutions adopted and 
communications sent to the Foreign Office show that the 
present laws, as well as the articles of the Declaration of 
London, are not understood by those who may lose most 
because good laws do not exist or gain most if good laws 
are adopted. 



90 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

Discussion in Parliament. — The discussions in Parlia- 
ment relating to the Declaration of London have been 
under the title of the Naval Prize Bill. The British 
Government promised that the Declaration of London 
should not be ratified until Parliament should have op- 
portunity to discuss its provisions, though constitution- 
ally the consent of Parliament is not necessary for rati- 
fication. The self-governing colonies were also given op- 
portunity to discuss the provisions of the Declaration. 

The lord chancellor in a speech in the House of Lords, 
upon the motion to appoint a Royal Commission to report 
on the advisability of agreeing to the terms of the Decla- 
ration of London, said on March 9, 1911 : 

I pass now to the subject of neutral prizes. All nations assert 
the right to destroy neutral prizes if they find they can not take 
them into port except Great Britain, Japan, Spain, and Holland. 
That is the law they would apply in their prize courts if you 
reject this Declaration. Even the record of Great Britain is not 
quite clear upon this subject of the destruction of neutral ships. 
The Declaration allows it subject to distinct conditions. A ship 
may be destroyed if the observance of article 48 — that means 
taking her into port for adjudication — will involve danger to 
the warship or to the success of the operation in which she is 
engaged at the time. Suppose we reject this Declaration. Our 
enemy would destroy neutral prizes at discretion without any 
limitation at all, acting upon their own laws. But suppose we are 
neutrals and our merchant ships are destroyed. This actually 
happened, as we know, in the Russo-Japanese War. We were 
then put to the choice either of allowing the incident to pass 
uncompensated or to have recourse to war with Russia. Of 
course, the late Government, like sensible men, never thought of 
making that the subject of a declaration of war. 

If that happened again, after the Declaration had been ratified, 
Russia would have to submit to the International Court and to 
pay compensation if she was found to be wrong. (Daily Tele- 
graph, Mar. 10, 1910.) 

Lord Salisbury, favoring the motion for a Royal Com- 
mission, said on March 13: 

As matters stood without the Convention, if there were an 
attempt on the part of a belligerent to capture or destroy all 
ships carrying foodstuffs to our ports as contraband, there would 
at once be an uprising on the part of neutral powers. 



Discussion in Parliament. 91 

As a matter of fact, the belligerent would be effectively con- 
trolled by the public opinion of the neutral powers. During the 
South African War there was a certain amount of friction be- 
tween this country and Germany, and the protest of the German 
Government had immense weight with the British Government 
at that time; the protest that we were interpreting international 
law harshly was most effective, and had to be taken into account 
by us. If this Convention were not passed, he was perfectly 
certain that neutral Powers would not submit to a belligerent 
interpreting his powers harshly. If the Convention were ratified, 
when an enemy began to capture and destroy ships carrying 
foodstuffs, and if there were a protest the enemy would say : 
" It is all right. You can go to the tribunal when the war is 
over and get compensation. You can not protest, as you are not 
damaged. You can not take the law into your own hands. It 
is not for you to say what is a base of supply. That is for the 
international court when the war is over." 

That was the essential point, and that was why this Convention 
was so dangerous. Under the convention a belligerent could go 
on destroying ships with foodstuffs, and when the war was over he 
would not care much whether or not he had to pay compensation. 

After quite full discussion of various phases of the Dec- 
laration the motion for a Royal Commission was with- 
drawn on March 13, 1911. 

Some who favor the abolition of all laws for war upon 
the sea so far as concerns Great Britain have made 
strong speeches against the Declaration, others have seen 
only good points, while some have realized that there 
was no unity in the laws and practices of nations and 
that the Declaration would substitute in a large degree 
certainty for uncertainty and confusion likely to lead to 
international friction and to stir up sentiments favorable 
to the spread of war. 

Letters to the London Times. — Mr. Thomas Gibson 
Bowles has maintained both in the House of Commons 
and outside a very active opposition to reforms in naval 
prize law and to the Declaration of London. His book, 
Sea Law and Sea Power, is in general opposed to all 
international agreements in regard to maritime warfare 
from the Declaration of Paris of 1856 to the Declaration 
of London of 1909, and including the conventions of the 
Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. In a letter to the 
London Times he says: 



92 Destruction of Neutral Vessel, 

To the Editor of the Times. 

Sir : In your review of my book, Sea Law and Sea Power, is 
this passage : " We know what Mr. Bowles dislikes. What ex- 
actly does he want, and what does he think at the present time 
practicable? " 

I thought I had made clear what I want; but since it is not 
so I would ask permission to say that what exactly I want is 
that the Naval Prize Bill shall be withdrawn ; or, failing this, 
that it shall be rejected. 

What I think at the present time practicable is to leave things 
as they are, without making those changes in sea law which the 
Declaration of London would effect, and especially without ac- 
cepting that subjection which the Hague convention would 
achieve, to such a foreign tribunal as is proposed, of our own 
ancient and honored courts. 

With that, at this time, I for one should be content. But if 
the law of nations is to be recast and the courts that administer 
it to be superseded, then I hold that the " rash and unwise pro- 
ceeding," as Lord Salisbury called it, of the Declaration of Paris 
must also be reconsidered, and the question revived of its de- 
nunciation. 

But what I want most of all is that these novel and most 
grave proposals shall be duly and deliberately considered and 
decided upon by Parliament before the country is committed to 
any new obligations whatever. If that is attained, the purpose 
of my book will have been achieved. 
Your faithful servant, 

Thos. Gibson Bowles. 

24 Lowndes Square, SW. 

November 17. 

Other letters to the Times vary in character. Some 
are apparently prompted by party prejudices rather than 
based upon knowledge of the law or of the provisions 
of the Declaration of London. Letters of Mr. Arthur 
Cohen, Prof. T. E. Holland, Prof. J. Westlake. and 
men of like standing are such as show sober British 
judgment. 

In a letter bearing the date of February 1, 1911, Prof. 
Westlake particularly speaks of the destruction of neu- 
tral prizes, saying: 

To the Editor of the Times. 

Sir: Having discussed the topics on which the Naval Confer- 
ence of London was unable to reach an agreement, I come to 
the agreement comprised in the 71 articles and the report. It 
will be well to take first a topic with. which, if it was not to be 



Letters to London Times. 93 

another eliminated one, it was not possible to deal otherwise 
than as the Declaration does. This is the destruction of neutral 
prizes at sea. If the cause of the Knight Commander and the 
others which occurred during the Russo-Japanese War have 
inflamed British opinion against such destruction, they have also 
proved our inability to prevent it without going to war when- 
ever a British neutral prize is sunk, an heroic remedy when we 
consider that the practice is allowed by the regulations of France, 
the United States, and Japan, as well as of Russia, and that 
the Institute of International Law has declined to condemn it. 
The Declaration has done what was possible for the view claimed 
as the British one, by a reasonable limitation of the practice 
arid the provision of indemnity in case the limits laid down are 
transgressed. No doubt article 49 leaves it open that the inabil- 
ity to spare a prize crew may be held a justification ; but the 
British Admiralty Manual of 1883 expressly allowed that justi- 
fication for sinking an enemy prize, even with neutral goods on 
board, between which case and that of sinking a neutral prize 
the distinction in principle is the very point in dispute. 

After considering other important articles of the Decla- 
ration, he further says : 

The remaining portions of the Declaration are scarcely impor- 
tant enough to weigh much with any one in favor of its rejection 
and are highly technical. To what give and take may be found 
in* them, or in the articles which have been selected for notice, 
there applies the general remark that not only is it fairly bal- 
anced, but that it has the great merit of securing to England the 
enjoyment of the rights in which the Declaration confirms her. 
Those who would reject that benefit or even, like Mr. Bowles, 
return to an earlier state of things by undoing the Declaration 
of Paris, are usually ignorant how groundless was the claim to 
treat all British pretensions as recognized international law. 
Now, too, the multiplication of great sea Powers necessarily leads 
to the consequence that any flaw in our claims — whether arising 
from their never having been acknowledged law or from the 
change of circumstances to which all international law, how- 
ever acknowledged at some time, is bound to adjust itself — will 
be pressed against us with a force very different from that which 
we had to meet when the neutrals were generally smaller Powers. 
A rare opportunity is offered us. On our belligerent rights against 
an enemy we must stand firm, and we are not asked to forego 
them. In questions between belligerents and neutrals whatever 
can be described as vital has not been made the subject of com- 
promise, but stands outside the Declaration of London, and, as I 
have shown, can be saved by the necessary reservations from 
prejudicing us either in an International Prize Court or in diplo- 
macy. Regret that even on those points there has not been 



94 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

agreement must not prevent our accepting the agreement arrived 
at, which gives us the benefit of assured law on so wide a field 
and of being relieved by an International Prize Court from the 
odium of being the final judges in our own case. 

Naval opinion in Great Britain. — In the House of Com- 
mons on February 14, 1911, certain questions were asked 
of Mr. McKenna, the First Lord of the Admiralty: 

Mr. Lee asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the 
provisions of the Declaration of London nad been submitted to 
and considered by the Board of Admiralty, with special refer- 
ence to naval interests and the protection of British commerce, 
and whether the Board had signified its approval of the Declara- 
tion. 

Mr. McKenna. The Admiralty were represented at the Inter- 
national Naval Conference which led up to the Declaration of 
London. Its provisions were submitted to and considered by 
the Admiralty, and there was no occasion for the Board to signify 
their approval in a formal manner. 

Mr. Lee. In view of the fact that the Board of Admiralty has 
not signified its approval of the Declaration, will the Government 
undertake that the Declaration will not be ratified until the 
Admiralty has declared itself satisfied that the naval interests 
of this country will be safeguarded? 

Mr. McKenna. The honorable member must not assume from 
my reply that, because the Board did not signify its approval in 
a formal manner, the Board did not approve. 

Mr. Lee. Then it has approved? 

Mr. McKenna. Yes, sir. No. Let me explain. It is an ex- 
tremely important question. The Admiralty being represented at 
the conference, there was no formal meeting of the Board of 
Admiralty, and consequently no formal approval was ever ex- 
pressed by the Board, but approval has been given, and the 
assent of individual members must be supposed. 

Mr. Lee. Was the representative at the Conference a member 
of the Board of Admiralty? 

Mr. McKenna. No ; he was the Director of Naval Intelligence, 
and, representing the Admiralty, put forward the Admiralty's 
views at the Conference. His action was approved by the Board, 
and, therefore, that must be accepted as the approval of the 
Conference. 

Admiral Sir Algernon de Horsey is reported to have 
said : 

The Declaration of London is well calculated to destroy the 
British Empire in case of war. It is inconceivable how the 
British delegate could sign it. (London Daily Mail, Jan. 23, 
1911.) 



British Opinion. 95 

Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge, in a letter to the Nation 
on January 28, 1911, says: 

Much of the agitation against the Declaration of London is 
based on the pernicious belief that when we are forced into a 
war we shall achieve success by standing on the defensive. In 
a naval war, the only kind of war which will ever be serious for 
us, we shall have one objective, and one only, viz, the enemy's 
navy. We shall have to seek for that and attack it wherever 
we can get at it. This is the method to be adopted to keep 
the enemy so fully employed in defending himself that he will 
be unable to infest our ocean routes and, consequently, will be 
unable to capture or "detain our own or friendly ships traversing 
those routes, or to send any considerable military expedition 
toward the pLores of the United Kingdom and of any of our 
oversea territories. 

In reply to a question in the House of Lords on March 
8, 1911, Viscount Morley said : 

In general terms I may say that the opinion of the Admiralty 
is that, in existing circumstances, the effect of the establishment 
of an International Court of Appeal and of the Declaration of 
London on this country as a belligerent in the conduct of naval 
operations would be small and inconsiderable. (The London 
Times, Mar. 9, 1911, p. 6.) 

Mr. BentwieWs review of opinions. — Mr. Norman 
Bentwich in a book entitled, " The Declaration of Lon- 
don," considers quite fully the various contentions in 
regard to the destruction of neutral vessels and says: 

The Articles of the Declaration, though they are not as deterrent 
as might have been desired, are at least calculated to secure more 
respect for the neutral, and to place a larger measure of respon- 
sibility on the belligerent than was witnessed in the American 
Civil and the Russo-Japanese Wars. Of course there is no reason 
why Great Britain should depart from her present custom of not 
sinking neutral prizes, save in very exceptional circumstances; 
and our abundance of ports in every ocean makes it more feasible 
for our cruisers than for those of other nations to bring their 
prizes in for adjudication. We are thus enabled to gain by add- 
ing the captured vessels to our marine and confiscating their 
cargo; and v. Ich the new limitation on the right to destroy, our 
traders will be able to secure compensation in any case where 
their captured vessels would not have been liable to condemna- 
tion if they had been brought in for adjudication instead of be- 
ing destroyed. The outcry against destruction of prizes is largely 
founded upon the fact that neutral vessels have been sunk by 



96 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

their captors, which should not by the law of nations have been 
condemned at all. Now, the circumstances in which a neutral 
vessel is liable to condemnation are quite clearly laid down by the 
Declaration ; and the obligation of the belligerent to pay full com- 
pensation to the neutral shipowner and cargo owner where a 
prize is sunk which is not legally liable to condemnation, and 
lastly, the power which the ueutral will have, if the Declaration 
and the Prize Court Convention are ratified, of taking the question 
of the validity of the destruction to an International Tribunal 
which will have no prejudice in favor of the belligerent, form 
together a combination of safeguards which should prevent out- 
rages upon neutral commerce such as the .Russo-Japanese War 
produced, and should make the right of sinking prizes in future 
wars exceptional in fact as well as in theory (p. 98). 

Application of Declaration of London to Situation 
III. — It is evident that the British merchant vessel 
would not be liable to condemnation because of the car- 
riage of certain articles of contraband unless the amount 
was more than one-half by value, weight, volume, or 
freight (Art. 40) or unless the vessel were otherwise 
guilty, which is not implied in the situation. 

Art. 49. As an exception, a neutral vessel which has been cap- 
tured by a belligerent ship, and which would be liable to con- 
demnation, may be destroyed if the observance of article 4S would 
involve danger to the ship of war or to the success of the operations 
in which she is at the time engaged. 

Article 49 of the Declaration of London, which as an 
exception says a neutral vessel may be destroyed, would 
not apply, and the commander of the United States fleet 
would not be justified in destroying the vessel on account 
of the amount of contraband on board. 

The destruction of the British merchant vessel is not 
necessary on the ground that it would " involve danger to 
the ship of war." 

The question as to whether the entrance of the British 
merchant vessel into a port of State X would involve 
danger " to the success of operations in which the bel- 
ligerent ship of war is at the time engaged " may be 
raised. Certainly a case might arise in which the in- 
formation prematurely given by a neutral merchantman 
that a belligerent fleet had been met would defeat the 



Application of Declaration. 97 

plans of the fleet. The propriety of destruction, if 
otherwise legal, would in such case depend upon the 
proper interpretation of the clause of article 49, " the 
operations in which she is at the time engaged." The 
interpretation of this clause, as set forth in the General 
Keport of the International Naval Conference, is: 

It is, of course, the situation at the moment when the destruc- 
tion takes place which must be considered in order to decide 
whether the conditions are or are not fulfilled. A danger which 
did not exist at the actual moment of the capture may have 
appeared sometime afterwards. 

The United States fleet is sailing to make an attack 
upon a fortified port of State X, but it is not engaged in 
this attack, indeed it may never make the attack. It may 
be met by a fleet of State X and may be driven away. 
It may receive orders to take other action. The war may 
come to an end before it reaches State X. Many other 
possible circumstances may arise which will make the 
contemplated attack upon the fortified port of State X 
impossible or unnecessary. The situation is not there- 
fore such as to justify the destruction of the British 
merchantman on the ground that her preservation en- 
dangers the " success of the operations in which the bel- 
ligerent vessel is at the time engaged." 

Article 54 gives the commander of the United States 
fleet certain rights as regards the contraband on board, 
provided the military necessity is such as contemplated in 
article 49. 

Art. 54. The captor has the right to require the delivery, or to 
proceed himself to the destruction of goods liable to condemnation 
found on board a vessel not herself liable to condemnation, pro- 
vided that the circumstances are such as, under Article 49, justify 
the destruction of a vessel liable to condemnation. The captor 
must enter, in the log book of the vessel stopped, the articles 
handed over or destroyed and must procure from the master duly 
certified copies of all relevant papers. When the delivery, or the 
destruction has been effected, and the formalities complied with, 
the master must be allowed to continue his voyage. 

The provisions of Articles 51 and 52 respecting the obligations 
of a captor who has destroyed a neutral vessel are applicable. 
8901 — 11 7 



98 Destruction of Neutral Vessel. 

It is generally regarded as justifiable for a commander 
to assume such control as may be necessary over wireless 
telegraph apparatus within the zone of actual operations, 
though as wireless is now regarded as a necessary part of 
a vessel's equipment, this apparatus should in general not 
be destroyed. The commander of the fleet can therefore 
take necessary measures to make certain that the neutral 
vessel will not use the wireless equipment in an unneutral 
manner which would endanger the success of his military 
operations. 

SOLUTION. 

The protest of the British master against the destruc- 
tion of his vessel is correct. 

The commander of the United States fleet may, if 
military necessity or treaty provision justifies, take or 
destroy the contraband on board the merchant vessel, and 
he may take measures to assure himself that the wire- 
less apparatus will not be put to unneutral use. 



Situation IV. 

DELIVERY OF CONTRABAND AT SEA. 

(It is granted in this situation that the Declaration of 
London is binding.) 

There is war between the United States and State X. 
Great Britain is neutral. A British vessel, having on 
board articles of the nature of absolute contraband and 
bound for a port of State X, is met at sea by a United 
States cruiser. It is evident from the date of sailing 
and from the vessel's papers that she did not know of the 
outbreak of hostilities. The commander of the cruiser 
is remote from a prize court and does not wish to take the 
merchant vessel in. He requests her master to deliver 
the contraband. The master declines. 

What should the commander of the cruiser do? 

SOLUTION. 

In absence of exceptional necessity, and if the contra- 
band is not voluntarily delivered, the commander of the 
cruiser should either send to a prize court" or else release 
the neutral vessel. 

NOTES. 

Treaty provisions on delivery of contraband. — One 
of the earliest treaties providing for the delivery of 
contraband by a neutral master to a visiting belligerent 
is that of February 7/17, 1667/8, between Great Britain 
and the States-General of the United Netherlands. 

XIV. If it should happen that any of the said French captains 
should make prize of a vessel laden with contraband goods, as 
hath been said, the said captains may not open nor break up the 
chests, mails, packs, bags, cask, or sell, or exchange, or otherwise 
alienate them, until they have landed them in the presence of the 
judges or officers of the Admiralty, and after an inventory by them 
made of the said goods found in the said vessels; unless the 
contraband goods making but a part of the lading, the master of 
the ship should be content to deliver the said contraband goods 

99 



100 Delivery of Contraband. 

unto the said captain, and to pursue his voyage; in which case 
the said master shall by no means be hindered from continuing 
his course and the design of his voyage. (1 Chalmers Collection 
of Treaties, vol. 1, p. 167.) 

The treaty with France of February 4, 1676-77, Article 
VII, stated: 

If the vessel is laden but in part with contraband goods, and 
the master thereof offers to put them in the captor's hands, the 
captor shall not then oblige him to go into any port, but shall 
suffer him to continue his voyage. 

The words " agree, consent, and oiler to deliver them to 
the captor " is the form used in some of the later treaties. 

Similar provision appears in treaties between Euro- 
pean States during the late seventeenth and during the 
eighteenth centuries. Article 26 of the treaty of Utrecht 
between Great Britain and France, 1713, is an example of 
the prevalence of this form of international agreement. 

A provision in regard to the delivery of contraband by 
a neutral vessel in. the treaty of 1782 between Russia and 
Denmark reads: 

Art. XX. Que si par contre un navire visite se trouvoit surpris 
en contrebande, Ton ne pourra point pour cela rompre les caisses, 
coffres, balles & tonneaux qui se trouveront sur le mgme navire, 
ni detourner la moindre partie des marchandises ; mais le capteur 
sera en droit d'amener le dit navire dans un port, ou apres 
1'instruction du proces faite par devant les juges de l'amiraute 
selon les regies & loix gtablies, & aprfes que la sentence definitive 
aura ete portee, la marchandise non-permise, ou reconnue pour 
contrebande, sera confisquee, tandis que les autres effets & mar- 
chandises, s'il s'en trouvoit sur le ineme navire, seront rendus, 
sans que Ton puisse jamais retenir ni vaisseau, ni effets, sous pr§- 
texte de frais ou d'amende. Pendant la duree du proces le Capi- 
taine, apres avoir delivre la marchandise reconnue pour contre- 
bande, ne sera point oblige malgre hii, d'attendre la fin de son 
affaire; mais il pourra se mettre en mer avec son vaisseau & le 
reste de sa cargaison, quand bon lui semblera, & au cas qu'un 
navire marchand de l'une des deux Puissances en paix fut saisi 
en pleine mer, par un vaisseau de guerre, ou armateur, de ceile 
qui est en guerre, & qu'il se trouvat charge d'une marchandise 
reconnue pour contrebande, il sera libre au dit navire marchand, 
s'il le jnge h propos, d'abandonner d'abord la dite contrebnnde a 
son capteur, lequel devra se contenter de cet abandon volontaire, 
sans pouvoir retenir, molester ou inquieter en aucune fagon le 



Treaty Provisions. 101 

navire, ni l'equipage, qui pourra d§s ce moment poursuivre sa 
route en toute liberte. (De Martens, Recueil des Principaux 
Traites d' Alliance, etc., Tome II, 1779-1786, inclusive, p. 29.2.) 

Russia also made similar treaties with Austria in 1873 ; 
with France in 1787; with the Two Sicilies and with 
Portugal in the same year; and with Sweden in 1801. 
Other European powers have made a few such agree- 
ments. 

Orders to commanders and domestic regulations of 
much earlier date than 1782 allow a form of surrender of 
contraband by neutral masters and its acceptance by bel- 
ligerent commanders. 

Treaties of the United States. — The United States early 
made treaty agreements in regard to the handing over 
of contraband by a neutral vessel. One of the earliest of 
such treaties was negotiated with Sweden in 1783 and is 
still in force. The " certificates " mentioned in the treaty 
are ships' papers which contain — 

a particular account of the cargo, the place from which the vessel 
sailed, and that of her destination . . . which certificates shall 
be made out by the officers of the place from which the vessel 
shall depart. 

Article 13 of the treaty with Sweden referring to the 
handing over of contraband is as follows : 

If on producing the said certificates it be discovered that the 
vessel carries some of the goods which are declared to be pro- 
hibited or contraband and which are consigned to an enemy's 
port, it shall not, however, be lawful to break up the hatches of 
such ships nor to open any chest, coffers, packs, casks, or vessels, 
nor to remove or displace the smallest part of the merchandises 
until the cargo has been landed in the presence of officers ap- 
pointed for the purpose and until an inventory thereof has been 
taken; nor shall it be lawful to sell, exchange, or alienate the 
cargo or any part thereof until legal process shall have been had 
against the prohibited merchandises, and sentence shall have 
passed declaring them liable to confiscation, saving, nevertheless, 
as well the ships themselves as the other merchandises which 
shall have been found therein, which by virtue of this present 
treaty are to be esteemed free, and which are not to be detained 
on pretense of their having been loaded with prohibited merchan- 
dise and much less confiscated as lawful prize. And in case the 
contraband merchandise be only a part of the cargo, and the mas- 
ter of the vessel agrees, consents, and offers to deliver them to 



102 Delivery of Contraband. 

the vessel that has discovered them, in that case the latter, after 
receiving the merchandises which are good prize, shall immedi- 
ately let the vessel go and shall not by any means hinder her 
from pursuing her voyage to the place of her destination. When 
a vessel is taken and brought into any of the ports of the contract- 
ing parties, if upon examination she be found to be loaded only 
with merchandises declared to be free, the owner, or he who has 
made the prize, shall be bound to pay all costs and damages to 
the master of the vessel unjustly detained. (Treaties and Con- 
ventions, 1776-1909, vol. 2, p. 1729.) 

The treaty of the United States with Prussia of 1799, 
which is regarded as still operative, has a provision relat- 
ing to the delivery of contraband, but the wording is 
somewhat different from that of the Swedish treaty. 
Article XIII of the Prussian treaty reads : 

And in the same case of one of the contracting parties being 
engaged in war with any other Power, to prevent all the diffi- 
culties and misunderstandings that usually arise respecting mer- 
chandise of contraband, such as arms, ammunition, and military 
stores of every kind, no such articles, carried in the vessels, or by 
the subjects or citizens of either party, to the enemies of the other, 
shall be deemed contraband so as to induce confiscation or con- 
demnation and a loss of property to individuals. Nevertheless it 
shall be lawful to stop such vessels and articles, and to detain 
them for such length of time as the captors may think necessary 
to prevent the inconvenience or damage that might ensue from 
their proceeding, paying, however, a reasonable compensation for 
the loss such arrest shall occasion to the proprietors, and it shall 
further be allowed to use in the service of the captors, the whole 
or any part of the military stores so detained, paying the owners 
the full value of the same, to be ascertained by the current price 
at the place of its destination. But in the case supposed of a 
vessel stopped for articles of contraband, if the master of the 
vessel stopped will deliver out the goods supposed to be of con- 
trabamxnature he shall be admitted to do it, and the vessel shall 
not in that case be carried into any port, nor further detained, 
but shall be allowed to proceed on her voyage. 

All cannons, mortars, firearms, pistols, bombs, grenades, bullets* 
balls, muskets, flints, matches, powder, saltpeter, sulphur, cui- 
rasses, pikes, swords, belts, cartouch boxes, saddles and bridles, 
beyond the quantity necessary for the use of the ship, or beyond 
that which every man serving on board the vessel, or passenger, 
ought to have, and, in general, whatever is comprised under the 
denomination of arms and military stores, or what description 
so ever, shall be deemed objects of contraband. (Ibid., p. 1491.) 



Treaty Provisions. 103 

The treaty of 1828 between the United States and 
Brazil has a somewhat different statement from that of 
earlier treaties. 

Art. 18. The articles of contraband, before enumerated and 
classified, which may be found in a vessel bound for an enemy's 
port, shall be subject to detention and confiscation, leaving free 
the rest of the cargo and the ship, that the owners may dispose 
of them as they see proper. No vessel of either of the two nations 
shall be detained on the high seas on account of having on board 
articles of contraband, whenever the master, captain, or super- 
cargo of said vessels will deliver up the articles of contraband to 
the captor, unless the quantity of such articles be so great and of 
so large a bulk that they can not be received on board the captur- 
ing ship without great inconvenience; but in this and all the other 
cases of just detention the vessel detained shall be sent to the 
nearest convenient and safe port, for trial and judgment, accord- 
ing to law. (Ibid., vol. 1, p. 139.) 

Article 19 of the treaty of 1846 between the United 
States and Colombia (ibid., p. 308) is identical with 
article 18 of the Brazilian treaty above mentioned. 

The same may be said of Article 19 of the Bolivian 
treaty of 1858. "(Ibid., p. 119.) 

The treaty between the United States and Haiti of 
1864, terminated in 1905, provided for the acceptance of 
the evidence of certificates and for delivery of contraband 
under certain restrictions. 

Art. 23. To avoid all kind of vexation and abuse in the exam- 
ination of the papers relating to the ownership of the vessels 
belonging to the citizens of the contracting parties, it is hereby 
agreed that when one party shall be engaged in war and the 
other party shall be neutral the vessels of the neutral party shall 
be furnished with passports, that it may appear thereby that 
they really belong to citizens of the neutral party. These pass- 
ports shall be valid for any number of voyages, but shall be re- 
newed every year. 

If the vessels are laden, in addition to the passports above 
named, they shall be provided with certificates, in due form, made 
out by the officers of the place whence they sailed, so that it may 
be known whether they carry any contraband goods. ,And if it 
shall not appear from the said certificates that there are contra- 
band goods on board, the vessels shall be permitted to proceed 
on their voyage. If it shall appear from the certificates that 
there are contraband goods on board any such vessel, and the 



104 Delivery of Contraband. 

commander of the same shall offer to deliver them up, that offer 
shall be accepted, and a receipt for the same shall be given, and 
the vessel shall be at liberty to pursue her voyage unless the 
quantity of contraband goods be greater than can be conveniently 
received on board the ship of war or privateer, in which case, as 
in all other cases of just detention, the vessel shall be carried 
to the nearest safe and convenient port for the delivery of the 
same. 

In case any vessel shall not be furnished with such passport 
or certificates as are above required for the same, such case may 
he examined by a proper judge or tribunal ; and if it shall appear 
from other documents or proofs, admissible by the usage of 
nations, that the vessel belongs to citizens or subjects of the 
neutral party, it shall not be confiscated, but shall be released 
with her cargo (contraband goods excepted) and be permitted 
to proceed on her voyage. (Ibid., p. 927.) 

The United States has fiad similar provisions in 
treaties with France, 1800; with Central America, 1825; 
with Mexico, 1831; with Venezuela, 1836; with Peru, 
1836 ; with Ecuador, 1839 ; and with San Salvador, 1850. 

A late treaty containing a provision in regard to deliv- 
ery of contraband was that of March 9, 1874, between the 
Argentine Republic and Peru: 

XXIII. No vessel of either of the contracting parties shall be 
detained on the high seas for having articles of contraband on 
board, provided always the captain or supercargo of the said 
vessel deliver the articles of contraband to the captor, unless these 
articles should be numerous or of such great bulk that they can 
not, without serious inconvenience, be received on board the cap- 
tor's vessel ; but in this and all the other cases of just detention 
the vessel detained shall be sent to the nearest convenient and 
secure port, to be there judged agreeably with the laws. (British 
and Foreign State Papers, vol. 69, p. 706.) 

British rule. — The British Manual of Naval Prize Law 
of 1866 provided : 

186. The commander will not be justified in taking out of a 
vessel any contraband goods he may have found on board, and 
then allowing the vessel to proceed; his duty is to detain the 
vessel, and send her in for adjudication, together with the con- 
traband goods on board. 

This clause appears in the manual prepared by Prof. 
Holland and issued by authority of the Lords Commis- 
sioners of the Admiralty in 1888 as No. 81. 



Opinions of Text Writers. 105 

American Navy Department order, 1898. — General 
Order 492 of the Navy Department of June 20, 1898, says : 

The title to property seized as prize changes only by the deci- 
sion rendered by the prize court. But if the vessel itself, or its 
cargo, is needed for immediate public use, it may be converted 
to such use, a careful inventory and appraisal being made by 
impartial persons and certified to the prize court. 

Opinions of text writers. — There is much to be said 
against the practice by which officers whose functions are 
primarily executive are intrusted with functions which 
are in a measure judicial. In general, contraband should 
pass before a prize court. It is for the naval officer to 
make the capture, but for the court to determine its pro- 
priety and disposition. 

Kleen says of confiscation without adjudication by a 
prize court: 

II n'est guere besoin de relever combien cet usage est peu com- 
patible avec un bon reglement des prises. Sans doute, tout 
proprietaire particulier est libre de livrer, s'il le veut, sa pro- 
priety, meme legale, k un belligerant ou a ses organes militaires, 
en supportant volontairement la perte; et s'il le fait, soit par 
crainte, indifference ou insouciance, personne n'a qualite pour 
s'en plaindre. Mais une renonciation semblable a la protection 
de la loi ne saurait dans aucune hypothese lui etre imposee 
comme devoir. Aucun patron d'un navire neutre n'a le droit de 
livrer ainsi la propriete de son armateur sans le consentement de 
celui-ci, en s'autorisant d'un usage inique; et aucun croiseur n'a 
le droit de s'en emparer sans procedure qui prouve sa propre 
competence et l'illegalite de l'objet. D'autre part, le proprie- 
taire peut s'en rapporter au droit international pour protester 
contre toute confiscation qui se fait sans jugement regulier. Quant 
aux frais et aux retards qu'occasionnent les formalites juridiques, 
ils seront it la charge du contrevenant qui en est la cause, k 
savoir du neutre qui aurait rompu sa neutrality, ou bien du 
capteur qui aurait effectue une saisie injuste ou leg§re. 

Afin de regler ces questions a l'amiable, plusieurs Etats ont 
conclu, surtout vers la fin du XVIII e siecle, des traites par 
lesquels les contractants se sont mutuellement concede* le droit de 
confisquer, en cas de guerre, la contrebande sur simple delivraison, 
sans procedure. II est evident que ces actes conventionnels sont 
autant de preuves que la confiscation purement executive manque 
de fondement dans le droit international, puisqu' autrement il 
eat ete superflu de s'en reserver le droit par traite special. Un 



106 Delivery of Contraband. 

tel traite est naturellement valide, mais il ne lie que ses parties. 
Un fitat qui ne s'est pas ainsi oblige, n'a pas besoin de tolerer 
que des confiscations non judiciaires aient lieu sous son pavilion 
par des belligerants. (La Neutrality vol. 1, p. 450.) 

Dana, in a note to Wheaton, states his opinion as fol- 
lows : 

Taking contraband goods out of neutral vessels.-r-lt is for the 
interest of the neutral carrier, if he knows that the goods claimed 
by the visiting cruiser are contraband, to give them up and be 
permitted to go on his way, rather than to be carried into the 
belligerent's port to await adjudication upon them. In the seven- 
teenth article of the treaty of 1800 between the United States 
and France, which expired in 1808, there is a provision that if 
the vessel boarded shall have contraband goods and shall be 
willing to surrender them to the cruiser she shall be permitted 
to pursue her voyage, unless the cruiser is unable to take them on 
board, in which case the vessel shall accompany her to port. 
This stipulation is common in the treaties between the United 
States and the other American Republics. Hautefeuille contends 
for this as a right of a neutral by international law ; by which, 
however, he means that it should be the neutral's right, by justice 
and reason, in the author's opinion. No national act in diplomacy, 
or based on adjudication, and independent of treaty, has been 
produced or suggested by the distinguished author in affirmance 
of such a right. It is to be observed that as the captor must still 
take the cargo into port and submit it to adjudication, and as 
the neutral carrier can not bind the owner of the supposed con- 
traband cargo not to claim it in court, the captor is entitled, for 
his protection, to the usual evidence of the ship's papers, and 
whatever other evidence induced him to make the capture, as 
well as to the examination on oath of the master and super- 
cargo of the vessel. It may not be possible or convenient to 
detach all these papers and deliver them to the captor, and cer- 
tainly the testimony of the persons on board can not be taken at 
sea in the manner required by law. Such a provision may be 
applicable to a case where the owner of the goods, or a person 
capable of binding him, is on board and assents to the arrange- 
ment, agreeing not to claim the goods in court, but not to a case 
where the owner is not bound. There may also be a doubt 
whether the ostensible owner or agent is really such, and so the 
captor may be misled. Indeed, a strong argument might be made 
from these considerations that the article in the treaty can only 
be applied to a case where there is the capacity in the neutral 
vessel to insure the captor against a claim on the goods. 
(Wheaton, International Law, Dana ed., p. 665^.) 



Consideration at Naval Conference. 107 

Naval Conference of 1908-9. — The Austro-Hungarian 
proposition before the International Naval Conference 
in 1908 was as follows: 

On pourrait declarer, par exemple, d'une part, qu'll sera loisible 
au capita ine du navire neutre de livrer sur-le-champ la contre- 
bande ou de la detruire, si, par la, il peut echapper k la saisie et, 
par consequent, a la destruction de son batiment, d'autre part, que 
le capteur sera oblige de prendre possession des marchancises ou 
d'en perniettre la destruction si, en laissant le navire neutre con- 
tinuer sa route avee la contrebande a bord, il compromettrait sa 
propre securite ou le succes de ses operations. 

De pareils preceptes pourraient etre, de meme, etablis quant aux 
ruatieres du droit de prise. 

II est clair que la formule n'en pourrait etre trouvee que 
lorsqu'un accord se sera produit sur les principes du regime, 
auquel les prises neutres devront etre soumises. (British Par- 
liamentary Papers, Miscellaneous, No. 5. International Naval 
Conference, 1909, p. 100.) 

Report of British Delegation. — The report of the Brit- 
ish Delegation to Sir Edward Gray : 

18. Careful consideration was given to the question, raised in 
paragraph 33 of our instructions, whether any satisfactory ar- 
rangement could be devised for allowing the immediate removal 
by the captor of any contraband found on board a neutral vessel. 
Proposals were put forward by several delegations. The most far- 
reaching one was one submitted by Austria-Hungary, under which 
the neutral vessel carrying contraband was to be given the right 
to proceed on her way without further molestation if the master 
was ready to hand over the contraband to the captor on the spot, 
a proviso being added which made it necessary that the subse- 
quent decision of a prize court should intervene in order either to 
validate the transaction or to decree compensation where the cap- 
tor should have been proved to have acted wrongfully. In this 
form, the proposal did not meet with general support. It was 
objected that to concede an absolute right in the terms to the 
neutral would constitute an unjustifiable interference with the 
legitimate rights of belligerents, and that, moreover, the rule 
would be found in practice unworkable. The Conference therefore 
fell back upon the clause now embodied in the Declaration as 
article 44, which goes no further than authorizing the handing 
over of contraband, or its destruction, on the spot, by common 
agreement between captor and neutral, subject to the subsequent 
reference of the case to the prize court. It is not anticipated that 
it will be possible to apply this rule in very numerous instances, 



108 Delivery of Contraband. 

as, under modern conditions of maritime commerce, the transship- 
ment or destruction of cargo on the high seas is likely in most 
cases to present serious or insuperable difficulties. But, so far as 
it goes, the rule may afford a welcome measure of relief in favor- 
able circumstances. (Parliamentry Papers, Miscellaneous, No. 4, 
1909, International Naval Conference, p. 97.) 

Application of Declaration of London. — The fact that 
the British merchant vessel did not know of the outbreak 
of hostilities is covered by Article 43 of the Declaration 
of London. 

Art. 43. If a vessel is met with at sea unaware of a state of 
war, or of a declaration of contraband affecting her cargo, the 
contraband is not to be condemned, except on payment of com- 
pensation ; the vessel herself and the remainder of the cargo are 
exempt from condemnation and from the payment of the expenses 
referred to in Article 41. The same rule applies if the master, 
after becoming aware of the opening of hostilities or of the 
declaration of contraband, has not yet been able to discharge the 
contraband. 

The General Report, London Naval Conference, in ref- 
erence to this article, states: 

This provision has for its aim to protect neutrals who might, 
in fact, be carrying contraband, but against whom no charge could 
be made, which may happen in two cases. The first is that in 
which they do not know of the opening of hostilities; the second 
is that in which, though they know of this, they do not know of 
the declaration of the contraband a belligerent has made, in 
accordance with articles 23 and 25, and which is properly ap- 
plicable to the whole or a part of the cargo. It would be unjust 
to capture the ship and condemn the contraband; on the other 
hand, the cruiser can not be bound to permit to go on to the 
enemy goods suitable for use in the war and of which he may be 
in urgent need. These opposing interests are reconciled in the 
sense that the condemnation may take place only in payment of 
compensation. (See for a similar idea the convention of the ISth 
of October, 1907, in the rules for enemy merchant vessels in the 
outbreak of hostilities.) 

The procedure, as outlined by the Declaration of Lon- 
don, 1909, Article 54, would apply only in case of excep- 
tional necessity. This article says: 

The captor has the right to require the delivery, or to proceed 
himself to the destruction of, goods liable to condemnation found 
on board a vessel not herself liable to condemnation, provided that 



Resume. 109 

the circumstances are such as would, under article 49, justify the 
destruction of a vessel liable to condemnation. The captor must 
enter in the log book of the vessel stopped the articles handed over 
or destroyed, and, must procure from the master duly certified 
copies of all relevant papers. When the delivery, or the destruc- 
tion, has been effected, and the formalities complied with, the 
master must be allowed to continue his voyage. 
* The provisions of articles 51 and 52, respecting the obligations 
of a captor who has destroyed a neutral vessel, are applicable. 

The General Report of the Conference further explains 
Article 54: 

A cruiser encounters a neutral merchant vessel carrying con- 
traband in a proportion less than that specified in article 40. 
The captain of the cruiser may put a prize crew on board the 
vessel and take her into a port for adjudication. He may, in 
conformity with the provisions of article 44, accept the delivery 
of the contraband which is offered to him by the vessel stopped. 
But what is to happen if neither of these solutions are reached? 
The vessel stopped does not offer to deliver the contraband and 
the cruiser is not in a position to take the vessel into one of her 
ports. Is the cruiser obliged to let the neutral vessel go with the 
contraband on board? This has seemed excessive, at least in 
certain exceptional circumstances. These are in fact the same 
which would have justified the destruction of the vessel if she 
had been liable to condemnation. In such a case the cruiser may 
require the delivery or proceed to the destruction of the goods 
liable to condemnation. The reasons which warrant the de- 
struction of the vessel would justify the destruction of the con- 
traband goods, the more so is the considerations of humanity 
which may be invoked in case of a vessel do not here apply. 
Against an arbitrary demand by the cruiser there are the same 
guaranties as those which made it possible to recognize the right 
to destroy the vessel. The captor must, as a condition precedent, 
prove that he really found himself in the exceptional circum- 
stances specified; failing this, he is penalized to the value of the 
goods delivered or destroyed, instant investigation as to whether 
they were or were not contraband. 

Resume. — The goods upon the neutral British vessel 
are of the nature of absolute contraband. 

The vessel is evidently ignorant of the existence of hos- 
tilities. The contraband could not be condemned except 
with the payment of indemnity. There is no doubt that 
the articles of the nature of absolute contraband could 
be condemned on payment of indemnity. 



110 Delivery of Contraband. 

In accordance with Article 54 of the Declaration of 
London, the captor has a right to require the giving up 
of such goods — 

provided that the circumstances are such as would, under Article 
49, justify the destruction of a vessel liable to condemnation — 

That is, if the observance of the rule requiring that — 

captured neutral vessels should be sent to a prize court for ad- 
judication, * * * would involve danger to the ship of war or 
to the success of the operations in which she is at the time engaged. 

The simple wish of the commander not to send such a 
vessel to a prize court when the vessel is innocent and 
when the cargo has become contraband without the 
knowledge of the master of the vessel would not be 
sufficient ground for requiring the giving up of the goods 
or for proceeding to the destruction of the goods. 

The simple fact of remoteness from the prize court may 
make it inconvenient, expensive, or inexpedient to send 
the British vessel in, but such grounds are not sufficient 
to justify the use of force against a neutral vessel. 

In such circumstances, if the master prefers the delay 
and the adjudication of the prize court to the delivery of 
the goods to the commander of the cruiser, he is free to 
make such a decision and to decline to deliver the goods. 
The commander of the cruiser would, under such con- 
ditions, be obliged to decide whether to send in or to 
release the neutral vessel. 

SOLUTION. 

In absence of exceptional necessity, and if the contra- 
band is not voluntarily delivered, the commander of the 
cruiser should either send to a prize court or else release 
the neutral vessel. 



Situation V. 

PROPORTION OF CONTRABAND. 

(It is granted in this situation that the Declaration of 
London is binding.) 

X and Y are at war and a neutral vessel bound to an 
unblockaded port of Y is stopped on the high seas by a 
cruiser of State X. 

The cargo consists of hay, canned meats, and flour, re- 
spectively, one-eighth, two-eighths, and five-eighths of 
the cargo in value, and the cargo is consigned to a well- 
known commission merchant in the port of destination, 
which is not a fortified place, a military or a naval base, 
although there are several such bases at a distance of 
from 200 to 500 miles, all connected by rail. 

Considering the provisions of the Declaration of Lon- 
don and the explanations thereof given in the General 
Report to the Conference, what action should the cruiser 
of X State take ? Would a prize court probably condemn 
any or all of the cargo ? 

Would the vessel herself probably be a good prize ? 

SOLUTION. 

If there were no treaty provisions to the contrary or 
regulations in contravention, and unless he is reasonably 
convinced of the enemy destination of the cargo, the cap- 
tain of the cruiser of State X should allow the neutral 
vessel to proceed. 

The prize court would probably not condemn the cargo. 

The neutral vessel would probably not be good prize. 

NOTES. 

Review of attitude up to 1908. — It is evident from 
treaties, conventions, regulations, and opinions that there 
has been great diversity in the attitude toward penalizing 
a vessel for the carriage of contraband. The early prac- 
tice has been gradually modified till the vessel if not 
involved beyond the simple act of carriage has generally 
been subject only to the loss and delay consequent upon 
the adjudication of the prize. Of course, false papers, 

ill 



112 Proportion of Contraband. 

resistance to visit and search, participation of the owner 
or captain in the venture otherwise than as carriers, in- 
volves penalities for the vessel. There could not be said 
to be any absolutely uniform rule in international law 
upon the subject of penalty for the carriage of contra- 
band. As Prof. Oppenheim said in 1906: 

For beyond the rule that absolute contraband can be confis- 
cated there is no unanimity regarding the fate of the vessel and 
the innocent part of the cargo. Great Britain and the United 
States of America confiscate the vessel when the owner of the 
contraband is also the owner of the vessel; they also confiscate 
such part of the innocent cargo as belongs to the owner of the 
contraband goods; they, lastly, confiscate the vessel, although 
her owner is not the owner of the contraband, provided he knew 
of the fact that his vessel was carrying contraband, or provided 
the vessel sailed with false or simulated papers for the purpose 
of carrying contraband. Some States allow such vessel carry- 
ing contraband as is not herself liable to confiscation to proceed 
with her voyage on delivery of her contraband goods to the seiz- 
ing cruiser, but" Great Britain and other States insist upon the 
vessel being brought before a prize court in every case. (2 Oppen- 
heim, International Law, p. 443.) 

The further divergence in practice and opinion is 
shown in the attitude of the powers which took part in 
the International Naval Conference of 1908-9 at London. 

Early practice and opinion as to nature of penalty. — 
In early times it was the practice to confiscate the ship 
carrying contraband. The theory was that the goods 
became of service to the enemy only by the transportation 
to the enemy. It was held that the vessel transporting 
contraband should therefore be as justly liable to confis- 
cation as the contraband itself. Bynkershoek maintained 
that penalty for carriage of contraband should attach to 
the vessel as well as to the goods. (Quaestiones Juris 
Publici, Lib. I, cap. 2.) Heineceius also maintains that 
vessel and contraband fall under the same law. Earlier 
writers who mention the subject at all in general are of 
the same opinion. Grotius does not make any special 
mention of the penalty to which the vessel would be liable 
because she had carried contraband. There seem to have 
been variations in practice in the late middle ages, but 
there was no recognition of neutral rights as such. 



Early Penalties. 113 

A British proclamation of 1625, aimed against the 
King of Spain, after enumerating articles considered 
contraband, says: 

And therefore if any person whatsoever, after three months 
from the publication of theis presentes, shall, by anie of his 
Majesties owne shippes, or the shippes of anie his subjects au- 
thorized to that effect, be taken sayling towards the places afore- 
said, having on board anie of the things aforesaid, or returning 
thence in the same voyage, having vented or disposed of the said 
prohibited goods, his Majestie will hould both the shipps and goods 
soe taken for lawful prize, and cause them to be ordered as duely 
forfeited, whereby as his Majestie doth putt in practice noe inno- 
vation, since the same course hath been held, and the same penal- 
ties have been heretofore inflicted by other States and Princes, 
upon the like occasions, and avowed and maintayned by publique 
wry tings and apologies, so nowe his Majestie is in a manner 
inforced thereunto, by proclamations set forth by the King of 
Spaine and the Archduchesse, in which the same and greater 
severity is professed against those that shall carry or have car- 
ried without limitation the like commodities into theis his Maj- 
esties domynions. (Robinson, Collectanea Maritima, p. 66.) 

The French ordinance of 1584 embodied the principles 
of ordinances as early as the year 1400. The provision 
making a neutral ship good prize for carriage of enemy 
goods seems to have been introduced about 1543. This 
was set forth in the ordinance of 1584 as article 69. The 
ordinance of 1681 strengthened this rule. 

The treaty of Utrecht, 1713, between Great Britain 
and France makes definite provision in contravention of 
the principle of confiscation : 

Art. XXVI. But if one party, on the exhibiting the abovesaid 
certificates, mentioning the particulars of the things on board, 
should discover any goods of that kind which are declared con- 
traband or prohibited, by the nineteenth article of this treaty, de- 
signed for a port subject to the enemy of the other, it shall be 
unlawful to break up the hatches of that ship wherein the same 
shall happen to be found, whether she belong to the subjects of 
Great Britain or of France, to open the chests, packs, or casks 
therein, or to remove even the smallest parcel of the goods, unless 
the lading be brought on shore in the presence of the officers of 
the court of admiralty and an inventory thereof made; but there 
shall be no allowance to sell, exchange, or alienate the same in 
any manner, unless after that due and lawful process shall 

8901—11 8 



114 Proportion of Contraband. 

have been had against such prohibited goods, and the judges of 
the admiralty, respectively, shall, by a sentence pronounced, have 
confiscated the same; saving always, as well the ship itself, as 
the other goods found therein, which by this treaty are to be 
esteemed free ; neither may they be detained on pretense of their 
being, as it were, infected by the prohibited goods, much less 
shall they be confiscated as lawful prize; but if not the whole 
cargo, but only part thereof shall consist of prohibited or contra- 
band goods, and the commander of the ship shall be ready and 
willing to deliver them to the captor who has discovered them, in 
such case the captor, having received those goods, shall forthwith 
discharge the ship, and not hinder her by any means freely to 
prosecute the voyage on which she was bound. 

The practice and opinion of the eighteenth century was 
not uniform. Treaties also show the variation as during 
the seventeenth century. Article XXVI of the treaty 
of Utrecht mentioned above became in effect Article XIII 
of the treaty of 1778 between the United States and 
France. Article XIII of the treaty of 1800 between the 
same powers, after enumerating articles contraband of 
war, said: 

All the above articles, whenever they are destined to the port 
of an enemy, are hereby declared to be contraband and just 
objects of confiscation ; but the vessel in which they are laden, and 
the residue of the cargo, shall be considered free and not in any 
manner infected by the prohibited goods, whether belonging to 
the same or a different owner. 

Pillet, reviewing the attitude toward the carriage of 
contraband, says: 

La sanction de l'interdiction du commerce de la contrebande de 
guerre est dans la confiscation des marchandises de contrebande, 
confiscation qui doit etre regulierement prononcee par le tribunal 
des prises competent. Cette confiscation doit-elle s'etendre meme 
aux marchandises qui n'ont pas le caratere de contrebande, lors- 
qu'elles sont comprises dans le meme chargement? 

L'ordonnance frangaise de 1778 admettait que la cargaison 
entiere ainsi que le navire peuvent etre confisques lorsque la con- 
trebande y figure pour les trois quarts de l'ensemble. Ailleurs, 
cette proportion est abaissee a la moiti§. La jurisprudence la 
plus severe, celle de l'Angleterre, admet d'autres cas encore dans 
lesquels la marchandise innocente devra partager le sort de la 
marchandise illicite. II est fort a souhaiter que cette nouvelle 
application de la doctrine de l'iiifection hostile disparaisse com- 
pletement. Etendue a la totalite de la cargaison, la confiscation 



French Instructions, 1870. 115 

rev§t le caractere d'une peine, et cesse d'etre ce qu'elle est en 
realite, un moyen de defense employe par le belligerant contre un 
trafic particuliSrement funeste a ses interets. 

Le navire transporteur sera-t-il lui-nieme confisque? II regne 
sur ce point dans la doctrine la plus grande indecision, mais il 
parait raisonnable d'etendre la confiscation au navire lorsque le 
transport de la contrebande a lieu a la connaissance de l'armateur 
ou du patron. Bien que cette mesure paraisse depasser la limite 
stricte de la defense, elle est indispensable. Seule, elle permet de 
donner une sanction k la prohibition du commerce de la contre- 
bande, lorsque le vaisseau n'appartient pas au meme proprietaire 
que la marchandise. Sans pretendre donner a la confiscation du 
vaisseau un carat£re p6nal, on apereoit aisement qu'elle est le 
seul moyen d'action du belligerant sur les armateurs neutres qui 
se livrent a ce genre de trafic. 

On a quelquefois propose de remplacer le droit de confiscation 
par un droit de preemption d'apres lequel le belligerant saississant 
serait simplement autorise a acheter a leur prix courant dans le 
lieu de destination les objets de contrebande trouves a bord des 
navires neutres. La preemption par elle-meme parait avoir ere 
la premiere sanction en vigueur, et on cite une ordonnance 
francaise de 1543 qui est en effet dans ce sens. Elle fournissait 
un moyen de temperer les rigueurs du droit dans les circonstances 
les plus favorables, par exemple, en cas de contrebande simplement 
relative. Mais l'usage maritime est generalement contraire a cet 
adoucissement et on peut craindre en effet qu'il ne soit une sanc- 
tion bien insuffisante de la prohibition qu'il importe de maintenir. 
Le droit de preemption ne devra done £tre applique que s'il est 
adopte par un traite commun aux deux belligerants et aux neutres 
interesses, et aussi peut-etre dans une hypoth&se particuliere que 
nous rencontrerons un peu plus loin. 

En vertu d'une r£gle generate qui se justifie d'elle-meme, les 
marchandises de contrebande echappent a la confiscation s'il 
apparait qu'elles n'ont ete mises k bord du vaisseau que pour le 
service mgme de sa navigation. (Les lois actuelles de la guerre, 
p. 325.) 

French instructions, 1870. — The Instructions Comple- 
mentaires issued by France during the Franco-Prussian 
War in 1870 make mention of the proportion of contra- 
band. 

9. Cas ou le chargement rend le navire neutre saisissable. — Est 
passible de capture tout navire qui transporte des troupes, des 
depeches officielles ou de la contrebande de guerre pour le compte 
ou la destination de l'ennemi. Toutefois, si la contrebande de 
guerre ne se trouve k bord que dans une proportion inferieure aux 
trois-quarts de la cargaison, vous pouvez, suivant les circon- 



116 Proportion of Contraband. 

stances, soit retenir le navire lui-mgme, soit le relaeher, si le 
capitaine consent & vous remettre tous les objets de contrebande 
dont il est porteur. (Art. 6 des instructions generates du 25 
juillet 1870.) 

Ne sont pas reputees contrebande de guerre les amies et les 
munitions, en quantite telle que le permet la coutume, exclusive- 
ment destinees & la defense du batinient, a moins qu'il n'en ait 
£te fait usage pour resister & la visite. 

This rule was less severe than that of 1778, which pre- 
scribed that — 

1. Fait defense S. M. & tous arniateurs d'arreter et de conduire 
dans les ports du royaunie les navires des puissances neutres, 
quand meme ils sortiraient des ports ennemis, ou qu'ils y seraient 
destines; a l'exception toutefois de ceux qui porteraient des se- 
cours a des places bloquees, investies ou assiegees. A l'egard des 
navires, des Etats neutres qui seraient charges de marchandises 
de contrebande destinees a l'ennemi, ils pourront etre arretes et 
lesdites marchandises seront saisies et confisquees; mais les bati- 
ments et le surplus de leur cargaison seront relaches, a moins que 
lesdites marchandises de contrebande ne composent les trois-quarts 
de la valeur du chargement ; auquel cas les navires et la cargaison 
seront confisques en entier. Se reservant, au surplus, S. M. de 
revoquer la liberty portee au present article, si les puissances 
ennemies n'accordent pas la reciproque dans le delai de six mois 
a. compter de la publication du present reglement. 

English prize cases. — The English prize cases have 
often been cited as authority and as showing the develop- 
ment of the law in regard to contraband carriage because 
Great Britain has had such a large carrying trade. 

The case of the Ringende Jacob of 1798 shows the atti- 
tude of the English court at the end of the eighteenth 
century. The first and second of the three points raised 
in this case bear upon the carriage of contraband. After 
speaking of the contention as to the ownership and char- 
acter of the property, Lord Stowell says: 

Three other grounds, however, have been taken on which it is 
contended that the vessel is liable to condemnation: First, on 
account of the use and occupation in which she was employed; 
secondly, on account of the contraband nature of the cargo ; and 
thirdly, for violating a blockade. 

On the former point reference has been made to an ancient 
treaty (Oct. 21, 1666) between England and Sweden, which for- 
bids the subjects of either power " to sell or lend their ships for 



English Prize Gases. 117 

the use and advantage of the enemies of the other," and as this 
prohibition is connected in the same article with the subject of 
contraband, it is argued that the carrying of contraband articles 
in the present cargo is such a lending as comes within the mean- 
ing of the treaty ; but I can not agree to that interpretation. To 
let a ship on freight to go to the ports of the enemy can not be 
termed lending but in a very loose sense, and I apprehend the 
true meaning to have been that they should not give up the use 
and management of their ships directly to the enemy, or put them 
under his absolute power and direction. It is, besides, observable 
that there is no penalty annexed to this prohibition. I can not 
think such a service as this is will make the vessel subject to 
confiscation. 

But it is said there is a contraband cargo. That there are 
some contraband articles can not be denied. Hemp, the produce 
of Russia, exported by a Danish merchant, would be confiscable 
even under the relaxation which allows neutrals to export that 
article only where it is of the growth of their own country ; but 
to a Dane hemp is expressly enumerated among the articles of 
contraband in the Danish treaty (July 4, 1780) ; and to say that 
a Dane might traffic in foreign hemp, whilst he is forbidden to 
export his own, would be to put a construction on that treaty 
perfectly nugatory. The hemp must certainly be condemned ; but 
I do not know that under the present practice of the law of 
nations a contraband cargo can affect the ship. 

By the ancient law of Europe such a consequence would have 
ensued; nor can it be said that such a penalty was unjust or not 
supported by the general analogies of law, for the owner of the 
ship has engaged it in an unlawful commerce. But in the modern 
practice of the Courts of Admiralty of this country, and I believe 
of other nations also, a milder rule has been adopted; and the 
carrying of contraband articles is attended only with the loss of 
freight and expenses, except where the ship belongs to the owner 
of the contraband cargo, or where the simple misconduct of car- 
rying a contraband cargo has been connected with other malignant 
and aggravating circumstances. (1 C. Robinson, Admiralty Re- 
ports, p. 89.) 

In the case of the Jonge Tobais in the following year 
Lord Stowell set forth the accepted doctrine of the lia- 
bility of the vessel when vessel and contraband cargo be- 
longed to the same person : . 

Formerly, according to the old practice, this cargo would have 
carried with it the condemnation of the ship, but in later times 
this practice has been relaxed and an alteration has been intro- 
duced which allows the ship to go free, but subject to the for- 
feiture of freight on the part of the neutral owner. This applies 



118 Proportion of Contraband. 

only to cases where the owners of the ship and cargo are differ- 
ent persons. Where the owner of the cargo has any interest in 
the ship the whole of his property will be involved in the same 
sentence of condemnation; for where a man is concerned in an 
illegal transaction the whole of his property embarked in that 
transaction is liable to confiscation. (Ibid., p. 329.) 

Lord Stowell regards the old rule of condemnation of 
the vessel for carriage of contraband as having a logical 
basis but as relaxed in modern practice. In 1801, in the 
case of the Neutralitet, he says : 

The modern rule of the law of nations is, certainly, that the 
ship shall not be subject to condemnation for carrying contra- 
band articles. The ancient practice was otherwise, and it can 
not be denied that it was perfectly defensible on every principle 
of justice. If to supply the enemy with such articles is a noxious 
act with respect to the owner of the cargo, the vehicle which is 
instrumental in effecting that illegal purpose can not be innocent. 
The policy of modern times has, however, introduced a relaxation 
on this point, and the general rule now is that the vessel does 
not become confiscable for that act. (3 ibid., p. 294.) 

American decisions. — The United States courts have, 
in general, followed the doctrine of the British courts in 
regard to the carriage of contraband: 

According to the modern law of nations, for there has been 
some relaxation in practice from the strictness of the ancient 
rules, the carriage of contraband goods to the enemy subjects 
them, if captured in delicto, to the penalty of confiscation, but 
the vessel and the remaining cargo, if they do not belong to the 
owner of the contraband goods, are not subject to the same 
penalty. The penalty is applied to the latter only when there 
has been some actual cooperation on their part in a meditated 
fraud upon the belligerents— by covering up the voyage under 
false papers and with a false destination. This is the general 
doctrine when the capture is made in transitu, while the contra- 
band goods are yet on board. (Carrington v. The Merchants In- 
surance Co., 1834, 8 Peters Supreme Court Reports, p. 495.) 

Treaty provisions. — Article XVII of the treaty of 1794 
(expired by limitation in 1807) between the United States 
and Great Britain limited the penalty for carriage of 
contraband to the delay consequent upon prize procedure: 

It is agreed that in all cases where vessels shall be captured or 
detained on just suspicion of having on board enemy's property, 
or of carrying to the enemy any of the articles which are contra- 



Treaty Provisions. 119 

band of war, the said vessels shall be brought to the nearest or 
most convenient port; and if any property of an enemy should 
be found on board such vessel, that part only which belongs to 
the enemy shall be made prize, and the vessel shall be at liberty 
to proceed with the remainder without any impediment. And 
it is agreed that all proper measures shall be taken to prevent 
delay in deciding the cases of ships or cargoes so brought in for 
adjudication, and in the payment or recovery of any indemnifica- 
tion adjudged or agreed to be paid to the masters or owners of 
such ships. (Treaties and Conventions, 1776-1909, vol. 1, p. 601.) 

The United States has a number of treaties containing 

the clause similar to article 18 of the treaty with Brazil 

of 1828: 

The articles of contraband, before enumerated and classified, 
which may be found in a vessel bound for an enemy's port, shall 
be subject to detention and confiscation, leaving free the rest of 
the cargo and the ship, that the owners may dispose of them as 
they see proper. No vessel of either of the two nations shall be 
detained on the high seas, on account of having on board articles 
of contraband, whenever the master, captain, or supercargo of 
said vessels will deliver up the articles of contraband to the 
captor, unless the quantity of such articles be so great and of so 
large a bulk that they can not be received on board the capturing 
ship without great inconvenience; but in this and all the other 
cases of just detention the vessel detained shall be sent to the 
nearest convenient and safe port, for trial and judgment, according 
such ships. (Treaties and Conventions, 1776-1909, vol. 1, p. 601.) 
to law. (Ibid., p. 139.) 

(See also article 19 of the treaty with Bolivia of 1858; 
article 19 of treaty with Colombia of 1846.) 

Special regulations. — In the nineteenth century there 
were differences, as in early days, in practice in regard 
to what would make a vessel liable to condemnation for 
carriage of contraband. Municipal laws and regulations 
were not uniform. The French rule that if three-fourths 
of the cargo is contraband the vessel is contaminated does 
not seem to have gained recognition. A Prussian law of 
June, 1864, declares a vessel ladened entirely with con- 
traband is good prize. An Austrian decree of the same 
3 r ear is to similar effect. The Russian regulation pub- 
lished in 1900 provided that — 

11. Merchant vessels of neutral nationality are subject to con- 
fiscation as prizes in the following cases: (1) When the vessels 



120 Proportion of Contraband. 

are caught conveying to the enemy or to an enemy's port; (a) am- 
munition, as well as objects and accessories for making explosions, 
independently of their quantity; (&) other objects contraband of 
war, in quantities exceeding, by volume or weight, half of the 
entire cargo. 

Propositions as to proportion of contraband at Interna- 
tional Naval Conference. — The proportion of contraband 
was made a ground for condemnation in some of the pre- 
liminary memoranda submitted in preparation for the 
International Naval Conference. The propositions show 
a considerable variation. 

Germany : 

Le navire transportant la contrebande de guerre est sujet a 
confiscation — 

1. Si le proprietaire ou celui qui affrete le navire en totalite 
ou le capitaine ont connu ou du connaitre le presence de la contre- 
bande a bord et que cette contrebande forme, par sa valeur, par 
son poids ou par son volume, plus d'un quart de la cargaison. 
(International Naval Conference, British Parliamentary Papers, 
Miscellaneous, No. 5, 1909, p. 70.) 

Spain : 

Entre le systeme qui autorise la confiscation du navire trans- 
portant n'importe quelle quantite de contrebande, et le systeme 
qui ne consent une telle mesure que s'il y a eu resistance ou 
fraude, on pour rait gtablir cette formule de transaction : si le 
capitaine ou l'armateur ont connu ou pu connaitre la presence de 
la contrebande a bord, le navire sera responsible au capteur 
d'une rangon ou compensation equivalente a trois fois la valeur 
de la contrebande et au quintuple du montant du fret. Si la ran- 
gon n'etait pas payee, le capteur ne pourra dans aucun cas pro- 
ceder a des mesures d'ex6cution que contre le navire et tant que 
celui-ci restera entre ses mains. (Ibid., p. 71.) 

France : 

La marchandise neutre de contrebande trouv6e a bord d"un 
navire ennemi est confisquee. Les navires neutres charges de mar- 
chandises de contrebande destinies h. l'ennemi sont arr^tes; les 
dites marchandises sont saisies et confisquees. Les batiments 
et le surplus de leur cargaison sont relaches, a moins que les 
marchandises de contrebande ne composent les trois quarts de la 
valeur du chargement, au quel cas les navires et la cargaison 
sont confisques en entier. (Ibid., p. 71.) 



Propositions, Naval Conference, 1908-9. 121 

Japan : 

Les navires ayant de la contrebande de guerre, ainsi que le 
chargement se trouvant a bord et appartenant au propri6taire du 
navire, sont sujets k la confiscation dans les cas suivants : 

(a) Lorsque des moyens frauduleux sont employes dans le 
transport des marchandises de contrebande; 

(&) Lorsque le transport des marchandises de contrebande est 
1'objet principal du voyage. (Ibid., p. 72.) 

Netherlands : 

La contrebande est sujette & confiscation. 

Le navire transportant la contrebande n'est sujet a confisca- 
tion que : 

1. Si une par tie importante de la cargaison constitue de la con- 
trebande, a moins qu'il n'apparaisse que le capitaine, resp. le 
freteur, n'a pu connaitre le vrai caractere de la cargaison. ( Ibid., 
p. 72.) 

Russia : 

Art. 6. Les navires de commerce de nationalite neutre sont 
sujets a confiscation lorsqu'ils transportent : 

(a) De la contrebande de guerre formant, par son volume, son 
poids ou sa valeur, plus d'un quart de toute la cargaison ; 

(&) Des objets de contrebande meme en moindre quantity, si 
leur presence a bord du navire, de par leur nature meme, ne 
pouvait evidemment ne pas etre connue au capitaine. 

Abt. 7. Le navire transportant de la contrebande du guerre en 
quantite moindre d'un quart de la cargaison est passible d'une 
amende representant la quintuple valeur de sa cargaison de con- 
trebande. (Ibid., p. 72.) 

The preliminary consideration of these propositions led 
to the following observations : 

L'idee commune moderne est de considerer la confiscation 
comme une sanction et non comme un benefice ou une gratifica- 
tion pour le capteur. 

En ce qui concerne soit le navire transportant de la contrebande, 
soit les marchandises autres que la contrebande, se trouvant a. 
bord du meme navire, la confiscation apparait comme subordonnee 
soit a rimportanCe plus ou moins grande de la contrebande par 
rapport a 1'expgdition, soit k une complicity reelle ou presumee, 
sans que l'une ou l'autre de ces considerations soit & elle seule 
unanimement consacree. 

The basis of discussion was accordingly formulated in 
somewhat general terms : 

La confiscation du navire transportant de la contrebande ou des 
marchandises autres que la contrebande se trouvant a bord du 



122 Proportion of Contraband. 

inenie navire est subordonnee a 1' importance plus ou moins grande 
de la contrebande par rapport k 1'expedition ou a une complicity 
reelle ou presumee. Lorsque la complicite est retenue comme 
cause de confiscation les circonstances frauduleuses la font pre- 
sumes (Ibid., p. 73.) 

Later in the discussion in the Conference the Nether- 
lands delegate proposed to suppress the words, " ou des 
marchandises autres que la contrebande se trouvant a bord 
du meme navire," as being contrary to the principles of 
the Declaration of Paris of 1856. 

Discussion on proportion of contraband at International 
Naval Conference. — The suggestion of the Netherlands 
delegate that there might be conflict with the Declaration 
of Paris of 1856 led to considerable discussion. In the 
fourth session of the full Conference on December 11, 
1908, Mr. Crowe, of the British delegation, said: 

Par la redaction adoptee pour l'article 9 des bases de discussion, 
on a eu en vue de concilier les differents systemes en vigueur. 
Selon l'un de ces systemes, si la contrebande a bord d'un navire 
depasse les trois quarts du chargement, le navire et le reste du 
cbargement, aussi bien que la contrebande elle-meme, sont passi- 
bles de la confiscation. Selon un autre, la seule partie du charge- 
ment a condamner est la marchandise de contrebande elle-mefine 
et, selon un troisieme, la contrebande et le chargement innocent 
appartenant au proprietaire de la contrebande peuvent etre con- 
damnes. 

La question de savoir jusqu'S, quel point les Puissances Signa- 
taires de la Declaration de Paris et celles qui lui ont donne leur 
adhesion ont aujourd'hui le droit de confisquer des chargements 
autres que la marchandise de contrebande, merite un examen 
attentif et ma Delegation n'aurait pas d'objections k ce que cette 
question fut prise en consideration serieuse par la Conference. 

II est evident que la redaction actuelle de cet article est exces- 
sivement vague, et il serait k desirer que la question fut reglee 
d'une maniere plus precise par voie conveDtionnelle. 

Ma Delegation trouve de la difficulty k se rallier a l'amende- 
ment de la Delegation des Pays-Bas, mais elle est prete a l'ex- 
aminer dans un esprit de conciliation. (Ibid., p. 154.) 

Baron Nolde, of the Russian delegation, spoke at some 

length, suggesting certain amendments : 

Les regies du droit moderne en matiere de penalites pour le 
transport de contrebande ne sont pas identiques dans differents 
pays. Deux idees generales paraissent se degager de 1'etude de 



Discussion, Naval Conference, 1908-9. 123 

ces regies: (1) les articles memes de contrebande sont confisques, 
et (2) la peine doit etre plus severe quant il s'agit de transports 
qualifies comme plus nuisibles, et moins severe quand il s'agit de 
transports moins dangereux. Sans vouloir discuter pour la 
moment quels sont les cas ou il y a transport dangereux donnant 
lieu a une peine supplementaire, je constate que, dans tous les 
systeines, on cherche a proportionner Facte a reprimer et la mesure 
repressive. Telle est l'idee maitresse qui parait etre acquise. 

Or, cette idee fondamentale ne peut pas etre realisee avec justice 
si Ton se tient sur le terrain du systeme preconise dans plusieurs 
legislations modernes. Celles-ci ne connaissent que cette alterna- 
tive : la confiscation du navire ou sa liberation, c'est-a-dire tout 
ou rien. II nous a paru que Ton pourrait trouver un moyen de 
prpceder avec plus d'6quite. Pour les cas moins graves de trans- 
ports illicites, on pourrait s'abstenir de confisquer le navire, tout 
en punissant ces actes par une amende. L'idee d'une telle amende 
n'est pas tout & fait nouvelle. Jusqu'a la seconde moitie du XIX e 
siecle, Ton admettait que la confiscation du navire peut etre rem- 
plac6e par Une rangon fournie par le capitaine. La rangon est 
admise, par exemple, pour ne pas citer les dispositions anciennes, 
dans les instructions frangaises de 1870 (article 17) et dans le 
Manuel de Holland (1888), quoique a titre exceptionnel. Ce 
systeme nous parait contenir une idee saine et conforme a la 
logique du droit existant. Pour rendre la peine $quivalente au 
clelit — but que Ton cherche a atteindre dans le droit moderne — il 
faut pouvoir la graduer. Ce n'est possible que si Ton fait revivre 
sous une forme nouvelle l'idee ancienne de rangon. C'est dans 
cet esprit que le Gouvernement russe a formule les propositions 
contenues dans les articles 7 et 8 de son memorandum (p. 56). 
II a ete heureux de constater qu'il s'est rencontre sur ce point avec 
le Gouvernement espagnol. 

En consequence, la Delegation russe a l'honneur de deposer 
l'amendement suivant, qui reproduit avec quelques modifications 
de forme les dispositions du memorandum russe relatives a 
l'article 9 (Annexe 37) : 

Remplacer l'article 9 du projet par les dispositions suivantes: 

Art. 9. Les na vires de commerce de nationality neutre sont 
sujets a confiscation lorsqu'ils transportent : 

(a) de la contrebande de guerre formant, par son volume, son 
poids, ou sa valeur, plus d'un quart de toute la cargaison ; 

(6) des objets de contrebande, meme en moindre quantite, si 
leur presence & bord du navire, de par leur nature m§me, ne 
pouvait evidemment ne pas §tre connue du capitaine. 

Art. 9 bis. En dehors des cas prgvus & l'article 9, le navire 
transportant de la contrebande est passible d'une amende repre- 
sentant la quintuple valuer de sa cargaison de contrebande. 
(Ibid., p. 155.) 



124 Proportion of Contraband. 

The British delegation later proposed the following as 
a substitute for the various suggestions before the com- 
mission : 

La confiscation du navire transportant de la contrebande est 
permise si le proprietaire, ou celui qui a affrete le navire entiere- 
ment, ou le capitaine, a connu, ou a du connaitre, la presence de la 
contrebande a bord, et que cette contrebande forme plus de la 
moitie de la cargaison. (Ibid., p. 252.) 

The question as to whether the liability for the carriage 

of conditional contraband should be the same as the 

liability for the carriage of absolute contraband was 

raised, and by some it was thought that from the nature 

of the articles included in these two categories there 

should be a distinction in treatment. As the report says : 

M. le Vice Amiral Roell demande a la Delegation de Grande- 
Bretagne quelques explications au sujet de cet article, pour mieux 
se rendre compte s'il repond entiSrement aux idees de son Gou- 
vernement. Cet article ne parle que d'une categorie de contre- 
bande, et il lui semble que le transport de contrebande condition- 
nelle ne saurait etre juge" de la mgme facon, quant a la responsa- 
bilite" du capitaine, que celui de la contrebande absolue. II se 
pourrait tres bien qu'un capitaine transportat une cargaison de 
riz, par exemple, destined a un fournisseur ordinaire de 1'ennemi 
sans toutefois connaitre le vrai caractere de cette destination. 
Dans un cas pareil la penalite .de la confiscation du navire serait 
excessive. Si, au contraire, cette pen elite eta it subordonnee a 
la connaissance du vrai caractdre de la destination, la Delega- 
tion des Pays-Bas aurait moins de difficulte a accepter l'article. 
Le comite d'examen devrait, cependant, en amender la redaction 
en vue de rendre son intention plus claire. 

To this a member of the British delegation replied : 

M. Crowe dit que la derniere interpretation donnee a l'article 
par la Delegation des Pays-Bas est celle qui est conforme a l'id£e 
qui a inspire sa redaction. II s'agit d'etablir si le capitaine du 
navire a connaissance du caractere de contrebande, absolue ou 
conditionnelle, de la cargaison. (Ibid., p. 201.) 

Interpretation of " more than half the cargo" — Ques- 
tions at once arose as to how the words " more than half 
the cargo " were to be interpreted. Many suggestions 
were made. It was evident that many thought that the 
bulk of the cargo should be the standard, but it was 
shown that this standard would make possible many eva- 
sions of the real end sought by the formulation of such a 
rule. 



"More Than Half the Cargo." 125 

There was considered at The Hague in 1907 also this 
question of the amount of contraband which when on 
board a vessel with the knowledge of the owner or captain 
would involve penalty to the vessel. The British propo- 
sition in 1908 was similar in this respect to the German 
proposition of 1907. The German proposition was as 
follows : 

La contrebande de guerre est sujette a confiscation. II en est 
de mgme du batiment qui la porte, si le proprigtaire ou le capi- 
taine du batiment a eu connaissance de la presence de la contre- 
bande a bord et que cette contrebande forme plus de la moitie 
de la cargaison. (3 Deuxieme Conference Internationale de la 
Paix, p. 1157.) 

The French proposition at The Hague in 1907 was 
general in its terms: 

La contrebande absolue est sujette a confiscation. 

Elle peut donner lieu a la confiscation du navire sur lequel elle 
est trouvee, si le capitaine a resiste a la saisie ou s'il est etabli 
que le capitaine ou l'armateur ont connu ou pu connaitre la 
nature du chargement prohibe. (Ibid., p. 1158.) 

France had a rule in the eighteenth century which made 
the vessel liable when the amount of contraband on board 
amounted to three-fourths of the cargo. The German 
delegate expressed a willingness to accept the ratio of one- 
third or one-quarter, although the original German propo- 
sition had been one-half. The Russian delegate pointed 
out that a small portion of the cargo might have much 
greater value than a much larger bulk. The French dele- 
gation proposed to determine the liability of the vessel 
according to the " freight value " of the cargo indicated 
on the vessel's manifests. (Ibid., p. 1120.) 

The Hague Conference of 1907 was not able to reach 
an agreement upon the subject of contraband, and the 
whole subject was again taken up at the International 
Naval Conference in 1908-9. 

Proportion and destination. — At the International 
Naval Conference the French delegation, after speaking 
of the difficulties in determining the destination of con- 
traband, says: 

La proportion de la contrebande relativement a rentier charge- 
ment apparait, au contraire, comme une base juste et sure de la 



126 Proportion of Contraband. 



confiscation. Ici on prend en consideration, connne le dit avec 
raison, selon nous, le Memorandum japonais, 1'importance de la 
contrebande par rapport a l'expedition. L'assistance donnee & 
l'enneini en violation de la neutralite est-elle le principal objet de 
l'expedition? Cette assistance a-t-elle une importance sufQsante 
pour que le navire lui-m§me, grace auquel cette assistance est 
donnee, soit confisque? Sous cette forme, on congoit tres bien 
que la question soit posee et que la solution depende de la r§- 
ponse que justifieront les faits. 

Reste & savoir comment apprecier cette importance, cette pro- 
portion. 

Le texte, sur lequel la Commission delibere, dit simplement 
" que cette contrebande forme plus que la moitie de la cargaison." 
C'est peut-etre insufiisamment precis. Est-ce la moitie en poids; 
en volume; en valeur? Doit-on tenir compte ensemble ou separ6- 
ment de ces divers elements d'appreciation? Doit-on les distin- 
guer selon les marchandises? Bien que certains Memorandums 
les aient adoptes, il est permis de penser que pratiquement ce 
sens d'une verification parfois delicate, le plus souvent assez 
longue, lorsque dans un cbargement considerable et varie la con- 
trebande est de quelque importance. Va-t-on juger, en quelque 
sorte, a Vestimef — ce serait bien arbitraire. Peut-on proc^der 
par des experts? — que de lenteurs. de frais et de complication. 

A la Conference de La Haye, la Delegation frangaise avait pro- 
pose de consacrer comme criterium un element facile a constater 
et qui precisement est ordinairement base lui-meme sur la valeur, 
le poids, le volume ou l'encombrement de la marchandise : c'est le 
fret. Non seulement le fret, toujours mentionne sur le con- 
naissement, permet indirectement de juger si telle ou telle mar- 
chandise est plus ou moins importante par sa valeur, son poids 
ou son encombrement, mais encore il represente aussi exactement 
que possible l'interet que le navire a dans le transport de la 
marchandise, et, souvent plus eleve s'il s'agit de contrebande, il 
sert & en reveler le caractere. 

Notre Delegation prie la Commission de vouloir bien apprecier 
si ces considerations sont exactes et si, dans ces conditions, le 
systeme le plus pratique et le plus sur, pour frapper le navire 
transporteur de contrebande, n'est pas (1) de s'attacner simple- 
ment k 1'importance de la contrebande par rapport a rentier 
cbargement; (2) de fixer cette proportion au moyen du fret. 

Quant au quantum de la proportion, bien que la moiti6 soit 
un peu differente de la pratique frangaise traditionnelle, le desir 
d'une entente et le souci d'une reglementation commune nous con- 
cluiraient a ne pas nous opposer k son adoption. (International 
Naval Conference, British Parliamentary Papers, Miscellaneous, 
No. 5, 1909, p. 288.) 



Provision of Declaration of London, 1909. 127 

It is evident that a single standard might be evaded 
with comparative ease. Suppose that the restriction 
should be that a vessel would be confiscated only when 
more than one-half its cargo by value was contraband. 
It might be possible to take as part of the cargo a single 
diamond which in weight or volume would constitute only 
an infinitesimal part of the cargo — would the vessel be 
exempt though the remainder of her cargo might be 
contraband? It would be manifestly easy to shift the 
freight rates so that the evidence might be misleading. 
It was therefore thought best to introduce in the Declara- 
tion of London several tests for determining the liability 
of the vessel. 

Provision of the Declaration of London, 1909. — The 
final form was embodied in article 40 of the Declaration 
of London. 

Article 40. — A vessel carrying contraband may be con- 
demned if the contraband, reckoned eitlier by value, 
weight, volume, or freight, forms more than half the 
cargo. 

The General Report interprets this article as follows : 

It was universally admitted, however, that in certain cases 
the condemnation of the contraband does not suffice, and that con- 
demnation should extend to the vessel herself, but opinions differed 
as to the determination of these cases. It was decided to fix 
upon a certain proportion between the contraband and the total 
cargo. 

But the question divides itself: (1) What shall be the propor- 
tion? The solution adopted is the mean between those proposed, 
which ranged from n quarter to three quarters. (2) How shall 
this proportion be- reckoned? Must the contraband form more 
than half the cargo in volume, weight, value, or freight? The 
adoption of a single fixed standard gives rise to theoretical objec- 
tions, and also encourages practices intended to avoid condemna- 
tion of the vessel in spite of the importance of the cargo. If the 
standard of volume or weight is adopted, the master will ship 
innocent goods sufficiently bulky, or weighty in order that the 
volume or weight of the contraband may be less. A similar 
remark may be made as regards the value or the freight. The con- 
sequence is that it suffices, in order to justify condemnation, that 
the contraband should form more than half the cargo according 



128 Proportion of Contraband. 

to any one of the points of view mentioned. This may seem 
severe ; but, on the one hand, proceeding in any other manner would 
make fraudulent calculations easy, and, on the other, it may be 
said that the condemnation of the vessel is justified when the 
carriage of contraband formed an important part of her venture, 
which is true in each of the cases specified. (International Law 
Topics, Naval War College, 1909, pp. 89, 91.) 

Nature of the cargo. — In the situation under considera- 
tion the cargo consists of hay, canned meats, and flour. 
By Article 24 of the Declaration of London — 

The following articles and materials, susceptible of use in war 
as well as for purposes of peace, are, without notice, regarded as 
contraband of war, under the name of conditional contraband: 

(1) Food. 

(2) Forage and grain suitable for feeding animals. 

The entire cargo would, if destined for warlike use, be 
of the nature of conditional contraband. 

Destination of cargo. — In accordance with Article 33 
of the Declaration of London — 

Conditional contraband is liable to capture if it is shown that 
it is destined for the use of the armed forces or of a Government 
department of the enemy State, unless in this latter case the cir- 
cumstances show that the articles can not in fact be used for 
the purposes of the war in progress. This latter exception does 
not apply to a consignment coming under article 24 (4). (Inter- 
national Law Topics, 1909, p. 79.) 

Article 34 and the General Report bearing upon it at- 
tempts to define enemy destination. 

Aeticle 34. — The destination referred to in Article 33 is presumed 
to exist if the goods are consigned to enemy authorities or to a 
merchant, established in the enemy country, who, as a matter of 
common knowledge supplies articles and material of the hind to 
the enemy. A similar presumption arises if the goods are con- 
signed to a fortified place of the enemy, or other place serving 
as a base for the armed forces of the enemy. No such pre- 
sumption, however, arises in the case of a merchant vessel 
bound for one of these places if it is sought to prove that she her- 
self is contraband. In cases where the above presumptions do 
not arise, the destination is presumed to be innocent. The pre- 
sumptions set up by this article may be rebutted. 

Ordinarly contraband articles will not be directly addressed to 
the military or to the administrative authorities of the enemy 
State. The true destination will be more or less concealed. It 



British View. 129 

is for the captor to prove it in order to justify the capture. But 
it has been thought reasonable to set up presumptions based on 
the nature of the person to whom the articles are destined, or 
on the nature of the place for which the articles are destined. 
It may be an enemy authority or a trader established in an 
enemy country who, as a matter of common knowledge, supplies 
the enemy Government with articles of the kind in question. It 
may be a fortified place of the enemy or a place serving as a base, 
whether of operations or of supply, for the armed forces of the 
enemy. 

This general presumption may not be applied to the merchant 
vessel herself which is bound for a fortified place, except on con- 
dition that her destination for the use of the armed forces or for 
the authorities of the enemy State is directly proved, though she 
may in herself be conditional contraband. 

In the absence of the preceding presumptions, the destination 
is presumed to be innocent. This is the ordinary law, according 
to which the captor must prove the illicit character of the goods 
which he claims to capture. 

Finally, all the presumptions thus established in the interest 
of the captor or against him admit proof to the contrary. The 
national tribunals, in the first place, and, in the second, the 
International Court, will exercise their judgment. 

British vievj. — Mr. Norman Bentwich, summing up the 
British view of the effect of these articles relating to the 
condemnation, says : 

According to existing English prize law, the ship carrying con- 
traband is subject to condemnation if she has made forcible 
resistance to the captor, if she carries false or simulated papers, 
or if there are other circumstances amounting to fraud, or if she 
belongs to the owner of the contraband cargo. In other cases 
the ship is restored after condemnation of the cargo, but no com- 
pensation is paid for the loss of freight or time caused by the 
detention. (Cf. The Ringende Jacob, 1 C. Rob., 92.) Other 
countries, however, have condemned the vessel when the propor- 
tion between the noxious and innocent part of the cargo exceeded 
a certain fraction ; in some cases when it was more than half, 
in others when more than two-thirds, in others, again, when more 
than three-fourths. The Declaration has established a uniform 
rule in place of this diversity of practice, according to which the 
vessel may be condemned whenever the contraband, reckoned 
either by value, or by weight, or by volume, or by freight, forms 
more than half the cargo. Further, when the vessel can not be 
condemned because the contraband is less than half the cargo by 
any of these measures, but there are circumstances which incrimi- 
nate her in the carriage, and suggest knowledge by the master of 

8901—11 9 



130 Proportion of Contraband. 

the nature of her cargo, the shipowner may be condemned to pay 
the costs of the captor incurred in making and adjudicating upon 
his prize. The same penalty would presumably be imposed also 
when the vessel carried fictitious or fraudulent papers. Follow- 
ing the existing practice, innocent goods which belong to the owner 
of the contraband on board the same vessel may be condemned; 
but innocent goods belonging to another shipper, even if he be an 
enemy subject, must be released, though no compensation again is 
paid to their owner for detention and loss of market. On the 
whole, the deterrent powers of belligerents against contraband 
trade have been increased by the Declaration, but not unreason- 
ably, since the gains for carriage of contraband being notoriously 
large it is fair to visit knowledge of the noxious character of the 
cargo on the shipowner, when the contraband forms more than 
half of the goods on board. (The Declaration of London, p. 80.) 

Resume. — It may happen that there may be treaty 
specifications existing between States that make a case 
fall under the first clause of Article 7 of the Convention 
relative to the Creation of an International Prize Court. 
This clause provides: 

If a question of law to be decided is covered by a treaty in force 
between the belligerent captor and a power which is itself or 
whose subject or citizen is a party to the proceedings, the court is 
governed by the provisions of the said treaty. 

The Declaration of London might be of no effect if the 
States at war, X and Y, should have a treaty containing 
a clause like that in Article XIII of the treaty of 1799 
between the United States and Prussia : 

But in the case supposed of a vessel stopped for articles of 
contraband, if the master of the vessel stopped will deliver out 
the goods supposed to be of contraband nature, he shall be ad- 
mitted to do it, and the vessel shall not in that case be carried 
into any port, nor further detained, but shall be allowed to pro- 
ceed on her voyage. 

As the cargo consists of hay, canned meats, and flour, 
articles which may be of use to the general population of 
State Y, the actual destination to the use of the enemy 
forces must be shown. The consignee is a well-known 
commission merchant in a place that is not fortified and 
not defended. The presumption, unless it is well known 
that he furnishes the Government of Y, is therefore that 



Resume. 131 

the cargo is innocent. From the statement of Situation 
V it can not be inferred that the commission merchant 
regularly furnishes the Government. If there are other 
ports from which supplies would more naturally be ob- 
tained, the presumption would be that these supplies were 
innocent. The presumption of innocence would therefore 
be favorable to the release of the vessel. The general 
rule for the naval officer would be that in case of doubt a 
vessel should be sent to a prize court for adjudication. 

The doubt, with only such data as given as proposed 
in Situation V, is too great to warrant destruction of the 
neutral vessel under the provisions of the Declaration of 
London. 

Under the provisions of the Declaration of London, 
which are presumed to be binding in this situation as 
proposed, it is evident that the cargo is of the nature of 
conditional contraband only if having a hostile destina- 
tion, and hence the vessel carrying this cargo, if the cargo 
is bound for warlike use, should be sent to a prize court. 
The consignment to a commission merchant, even though 
established in an unfortified place, whose location is such 
as to make transportation to military bases easy, might 
be sufficient to justify the commander in sending the ves- 
sel to a prize court. The presumption would be that the 
cargo was innocent. It would be for the captor to prove 
the contrary. 

From the discussions upon articles 33 and 34 at the 
International Naval Conference, it is evident that the 
prize court would probably condemn the entire cargo as 
contraband of war under the provision of article 39, 
which states, " contraband is liable to condemnation," if 
the destination of any part was hostile or if the commis- 
sion merchant were an enemy contractor. 

Contrary to the practice of many States in late years, 
and also in contravention of certain existing treaties, 
Article 40 provides: 

A vessel carrying contraband may be condemned if the contra- 
band, reckoned either by value, weight, volume, or freight, forms 
more than half the cargo. 



132 Proportion of Contraband. 

SOLUTION. 

If there were no treaty provisions to the contrary or 
regulations in contravention, and unless he is reasonably 
convinced of the enemy destination of the cargo, the 
captain of the cruiser of State X should allow the neutral 
vessel to proceed. 

The prize court would probably not condemn the 
cargo. 

The neutral vessel would probably not be good prize. 

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